Optimar's equipment will allow the Kingfish Co to move from manual to automated processing. Image taken from Kingfish Co video.

Kingfish Co chooses Optimar for processing solution

Yellowtail kingfish farmer The Kingfish Company has contracted Norwegian fish handling equipment maker Optimar to supply machinery for its new processing plant in the Netherlands.

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The Kingfish Company grows 1,250 tonnes of yellowtail a year at its recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facility in Zeeland and is expanding production to reach 3,000 tonnes by the second half of next year.

“This contract proves that the market trusts us to deliver the preferred solutions for land-based facilities,” said Optimar’s vice president for aqua in, Hans Owen Thunem, in a press release.

Christiaan de Wet: "We were delighted with the solutions Optimar brought to the table".

Several options

The Kingfish Company first approached Optimar in March.

“Hans and his team presented several ground-breaking options for the new processing plant and worked tirelessly on improving the solution to fit our needs, both in terms of functionality and cost,” Kingfish head of design and engineering Christiaan de Wet said.

Optimar’s solution will allow the fish farmer from manual processing to an automated fish handling process to better fit its increasing volumes. 

Product knowledge

“It has been a great pleasure working with Hans and his team so far. We were delighted with the solutions Optimar brought to the table after first getting to know our business and challenges. They provide great support with excellent product knowledge,” said de Wet.

The contract with The Kingfish Company was confirmed at last month’s Aqua Nor trade show in Trondheim, where Optimar said it saw great interest from both existing and new customers.

“We are experiencing great demand for our solutions that, with a focus on fish welfare, help to take the industry a step further,” said the company’s chief commercial officer, Irene V Mjelde.

Optimar has its headquarters and manufacturing facility in Ålesund on Norway’s west coast, and operates other facilities in Norway, the United States, Spain and Romania. It employs around 500 people.

The Kingfish Company has a US subsidiary, Kingfish Maine, which is planning a RAS facility at Jonesport that will produce between 6,000 and 8,000 tonnes of yellowtail per year for the US market.