Trond Valderhaug is moving from Mowi to Salmon Evolution. Becoming involved at an early stage and having the opportunity to influence the commercialisation of the product were key influences, he said. Photo: Salmon Evolution.

Salmon Evolution lures Mowi executive on board

On-land fish farmer Salmon Evoltuion has recruited Mowi’s sales vice president for Asia, Trond Valderhaug, as its chief commercial officer.

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Salmon Evolution began construction in May of a hybrid recirculating / flow-through salmon farm on Indre Harøy in Hustadvika municipality, Norway. The completed facility will have an annual production capacity of 36,000 tonnes of Atlantic salmon.

The appointment of Valderhaug, who starts his new role on October 1, means that Salmon Evolution is gearing up to commercialise output, the company said.

Håkon Berg: Pleased to have Valderhaug's expertise.

‘A strong story’

“Our product is due to be on the market within the next two years,” said chief executive Håkon André Berg in a press release. “Until that time, we will be documenting the advantages of our land-reared salmon and have a strong story to tell.

“Trond has long experience and an extensive network in strategic markets. He’s the right person to lead this work, and we’re very pleased to have this expertise in place.”

Valderhaug, who has almost 20 years of experience in sales, said: “I want to apply my experience to help realise this aquaculture adventure.

“Becoming involved at an early stage and having the opportunity to influence the commercialisation of a quality product in the market are important reasons why I’m getting to grips with this assignment.”

“I am sure that the land-based approach will be part of our future, and I’m convinced that the way Salmon Evolution is doing this – utilising large volumes of fresh seawater – is the most secure way of implementing it,” added the sales chief. “That applies both biologically and in relation to the product we’ll be proudly serving up to the market.”

An illustration of the plant at Indre Harøy, Norway, which is under construction. Click on image to enlarge. Image: Salmon Evolution.

Reduced risk

Salmon Evolution’s facility will be based on 65% recycling and 35% supply of filtered and temperate seawater, which the company says will contribute to optimal operation and reduce the risk significantly compared with other types of land-based plants with almost full water recycling.

The company’s largest investor is Ronja Capital AS, an investment vehicle for Roger Halsebakk, founder of the world’s largest wellboat company, Sølvtrans.

Salmon Evolution recently announced an agreement with Dongwon Industries, one of the world’s leading seafood companies based in South Korea, where Dongwon will invest NOK 50 million (£4.3m) for a minority stake.

The companies plan to enter into a partnership to build a land-based fish farm in South Korea by utilising Salmon Evolution’s mix of flow-through and RAS technology. They will also jointly consider future opportunities to scale similar projects in other Asian markets as well as the North American market.