Cracked it! ‘Egg’ fish farm developer rings up first sale
Prophylaxia buys its own post-smolt unit after operating pilot for Ovum
Ovum, the developer of the Egg floating closed containment fish farm, has sold its first unit.
The buyer is Prophylaxia, the company contracted to operate the first Ovum E2000 pilot Egg in the Romsdal Fjord since autumn 2022. The unit that Prophylaxia will receive will be a version of the E2000 featuring technical improvements from the pilot Egg.
Ovum, a subsidiary of aquaculture technology company Hauge Aqua, said in a press release that the biological results from two post-smolt production cycles in the pilot have exceeded its expectations.
“This is not least due to the very good collaboration with Prophylaxia in operation and Herde Kompositt, who have built the Egg,” said Ovum chief commercial officer Trond Severinsen.
“As with most pilots, we have had a steep learning curve. Not everything has gone according to plan, but we have largely managed to muck in and solve the challenges together and continuously. This has resulted in many technical improvements which are now included in Egg no.2.”
Norway, and especially production areas three and four (PO3 and PO4), is the market Ovum is prioritising. The market for Egg in salmon farming is at least as large abroad, said Severinsen, but the company must first establish an efficient and automated production and “become good in Norway first”.
“The first productions with the Egg have shown incredibly interesting results. At times there has been intense work together with good people at Ovum. Now we think that the vast majority of teething troubles have been eradicated, and therefore we are ordering our own E2000,” said Prophylaxia general manager Øyvind Våge.
The Ovum E2000 is a floating closed system with a farming volume of 2,000m³. It is built in sandwich composite and has a capacity of 90-100 tonnes of post-smolts. The new Egg is being built at Herde Kompositt AS in Ølve in the Hardangerfjord. Larger models of up to 20,000m³ are under development for production in 2024.
'Very promising results'
Prophylaxia says on its website that it “aggressively focuses on the development of new treatment methods and technologies”.
Primarily, it researches the use of the salmon’s natural signalling substances as an alternative method of mitigating problems with sea lice (see more about this on the company’s website) but is also focused on the potential of the Egg.
“This (the Egg) is an exciting project that shows very promising results in better fish welfare, production parameters and a lower carbon footprint,” said Prophylaxia on its website.
The company is majority owned by Alsco AS, the investment vehicle of Johan Andreassen and Bjørn-Vegard Løvik, who founded US-based on-land salmon farmer Atlantic Sapphire.