Nordic's Belfast farm will be built in two stages. Image: Nordic Aquafarms.

Nordic names builders for US on-land salmon farm

Nordic Aquafarms Inc has named the construction managers for its land-based salmon farm in Belfast, Maine in the eastern United States.

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Norwegian-owned Nordic has hired Gilbane Building Company and Landry/French Construction to deliver the recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facility, which will have an eventual capacity of 33,000 tonnes per year.

The RAS farm will be built in two phases, with the first phase expected to be operational in 2021. It is located on a 54-acre site.

Erik Heim: "Low environmental impact".

Experienced builder

“We are committed to delivering high-quality seafood with low environmental impact and take pride in the sustainable practices embedded into every facet of our business,” said Nordic Aquafarms Inc president Erik Heim.

“By partnering with Gilbane, an experienced builder of food production facilities and a company that shares our commitment to environmental stewardship, we’re confident that the Belfast site will serve as the future of land-based seafood production in the United States.”

The proposed layout of the site features nine buildings, including hatcheries, freshwater juvenile facilities (smolt buildings), grow-out facilities, and peripheral support facilities such as office space, a central utility plant, and a water treatment plant. Electrical infrastructure will include a substation and back-up generation with fuel storage and fish processing.

‘Transform the US market’

In a press release, Nordic said Gilbane will draw upon its experience constructing a 983.5-acre brewery expansion project in Mexicali, Mexico, as well as the 260,000 square foot Kerry Innovation and Technical Center. The Beloit, Wisconsin campus for Kerry’s worldwide food production houses over 800 employees.

“Nordic Aquafarms’ innovative land-based farming method is poised to transform the US market for fresh farmed fish,” said Mike O’Brien, head of Gilbane’s Boston and Northern New England offices.

“As a leading builder of manufacturing facilities in the US, Gilbane will leverage our vast experience in constructing complex and varied food production facilities in making that mission a reality while Landry/French, a leading contractor in Maine, will bring the local knowledge and key relationships to this important project.”

Nordic has an on-land salmon production plant in eastern Norway (Fredrikstad Seafood) and grows yellowtail kingfish at two sites in Denmark (Sashimi Royal and Maximus).

As well as its US east coast project, it is planning an on-land farm near Eureka, California.