This is how Ecofisk envisages its RAS plant will look when fully developed. Image: Ecofisk.
This is how Ecofisk envisages its RAS plant will look when fully developed. Image: Ecofisk.

Norway on-land salmon farm gets 40,000-tonne licence

An on-land salmon farm proposed for a quarry site in south-west Norway has been given permission to produce 40,000 tonnes of fish per year.

Published

The permit for the Ecofisk recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facility is the country’s largest on-land farm licence.

“Ecofisk AS is very pleased to announce that they have received permission for 40,000 tonnes of annual salmon production using RAS technology at our plant in Tysvær in Rogaland,” wrote chief operating officer Rustan Lundqvist on LinkedIn. “The licence is for smolt, post smolt and harvest-ready 5kg salmon.”

Bjørn Inge Staalesen: Permit gives 'room to develop'.
Bjørn Inge Staalesen: Permit gives "room to develop".

Biosecurity

Ecofisk’s general manager, Bjørn Inge Staalesen, told Fish Farming Expert’s Norwegian sister site, Kyst.no, that the production licence was crucial to the realisation of the project.

“We know the area is very well suited for land-based purposes and of course we have been concerned about whether the authorities would give us permission to treat the whole area together,” said Staalesen.

“The permit we have been granted gives us room to develop as a company and to contribute experience and development of land-based food fish production in the years to come. 

“We believe high focus on biosecurity and fish welfare is key to safe salmon production, and land-based food fish production addresses the biggest environmental constraints we have for increased production in the industry today.”

The 300,000 square metre site is on the Boknafjord system. Click on image to enlarge. Photo: Ecofisk.
The 300,000 square metre site is on the Boknafjord system. Click on image to enlarge. Photo: Ecofisk.

Breaking ground in 2021

The salmon RAS is planned at Espevik quarry, which Staalesen says is now in the closing phase, and offers a 300,000 square metre waterfront site with its own quay on the Boknafjord system in Rogaland.

“The area is already planned for us to begin land and infrastructure work. We expect to go into planning together with the key suppliers in 2020. Planned construction work is scheduled for 2021,” said Staalesen. 

He believes the plant has an ideal location in Rogaland with proximity to the European Union - the world’s largest salmon market with an ever-increasing focus from authorities and consumers on sustainable food production.

Key personnel

“The region’s strong supplier network is the key to efficient production and fish welfare and the region is among the world’s strongest seafood, marine research and technology clusters. Central location and good access to key personnel are essential for good production,” he pointed out. 

The project is based on RAS technology from well-known suppliers, and the company plans to start smolt production in 2022.

“The production licence gives great flexibility in relation to the proportion of post-smolt and food fish production,” concluded Staalesen.