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Marine Harvest feed plant millions of pounds over budget

The Kyleakin feed plant, pictured at an earlier construction stage in November, is running over budget. Photo: Marine Harvest
The Kyleakin feed plant, pictured at an earlier construction stage in November, is running over budget. Photo: Marine Harvest

Construction of Marine Harvest’s new feed plant at Kyleakin on Skye has run millions of pounds over budget, MH Scotland’s managing director, Ben Hadfield, has said.

Marine Harvest managing director Ben Hadfield
Marine Harvest managing director Ben Hadfield

The 41-year-old revealed the news in a keynote speech to students at the Aquaculture Careers event at the University of Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture yesterday.

While describing his job and career path, Hadfield, who started out as an environmental scientist, said: “Fish feed production is part of one of my roles. I was production director in Scotland for about a seven-year period, left and went to live in Norway to set up a feed business, built a factory in Norway, went over budget as usual – 5% over budget, I think [the total cost] was about 1 billion NOK.

“The second factory is being built on the Isle of Skye, it’s even more over budget. This is going to cost around €120 million (£103.6m).”

In November last year MH Scotland put the cost of the feed plant at £93m (€108m). The cost was originally put at £80m in 2016. The plant, due to open later this year, will employ 55 people.

Hadfield told the students feed was a very low margin, high volume business. He said MH was spending a lot of research and development to produce fish feed with a very low reliance on marine ingredients.

He also said that in future fish farming would involve more hatcheries, construction projects and potentially semi-closed systems. “We will need a lot more engineers, and we will need people who truly understand water quality,” he said.

He added: “My plan in this is to go and poach people in the water purification industries in countries like Israel, because they really understand water and water issues.”

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