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Norway's largest land-based salmon farm raises £19.6 million

24 March 2020, at 4:08pm

Salmon Evolution, the company planning Norway’s largest land-based salmon farm, has raised an additional 258 million kroner (£19.6m), as they seek to begin the first phase of construction.

107 kroner of this amount has been raised by existing shareholders, with the remainder coming from new investors, including Ronja Capital – the sister company of the world’s largest wellboat operator Sølvtrans.

Salmon Evolution hopes to harvest its first fish in 2022
Salmon Evolution hopes to harvest its first fish in 2022

The wellboat company, which now owns almost 20 percent of the fledgling salmon producer, highlighted the technology chosen in relation to growth opportunities, risk and return as the most important reasons for opting to become a shareholder.

“Low biological risk has been the biggest consideration for us in assessing investment opportunities in land-based aquaculture,” says Tore Tønseth, investment vice president at Ronja Capital.

“Our view of the company hasn’t changed, despite the fluctuations in the financial market over recent months. We’ve followed this project over a long time, and now want to contribute to the company’s continued development.”

The Salmon Evolution facility is set to produce 36,000 tonnes of salmon a year, when at capacity. Unlike most land-based salmon sites it will utilise flow-through technology – exploiting its coastal location – rather than adopting a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS).

It’s initial phase, which has required 1.3 billion kroner of investment, will allow it to produce 9,000 tonnes of salmon a year. The company plans to begin construction in Q2 of this year, stock its first smolts in Q4 2021 and harvest its first fish at the end of 2022.

“The decision by the present shareholders to provide us with further capital is a vote of confidence,” says Kristofer Reiten, chair of Salmon Evolution. “The experience and expertise possessed by the shareholder structure over the whole salmon value chain will make a big quality contribution to our future development.”

The board of Salmon Evolution consists of Kristofer Reiten, Frank Småge, Frode Kjølås, Ingjarl Skarvøy. Line 2, from right: Anders Sandøy, Per Olav Mevold, Peder Stette, Glen Bradley
The board of Salmon Evolution consists of Kristofer Reiten, Frank Småge, Frode Kjølås, Ingjarl Skarvøy. Line 2, from right: Anders Sandøy, Per Olav Mevold, Peder Stette, Glen Bradley

© Brunes Foto

Odd Tore Finnøy, CEO of Salmon Evolution, is pleased at getting such an industrially strong ownership in place.

“We’re very gratified that we’ve attracted a number of industrial and well-capitalised shareholders with a clear foothold along the Norwegian coast and in our industry,” he says.

“Our success in securing this capital injection in the present financial climate is a clear confirmation of our robustness. A strong network, expertise and financial room for manoeuvre will contribute to very exciting progress for us.”