RAS trout farm secures major investment

London-based investment company JLEN Environmental Assets is moving into the Norwegian aquaculture business.

JLEN, which describes itself as an environmental infrastructure fund, is setting aside up to £40m over the next three to four years for Hima Seafood, a Norwegian company building the world’s largest trout farm.

The farm, to be built in Rjukan in Norway’s Telemark region, will be a RAS (recirculating aquaculture system) facility. Hima Seafood has identified and secured a licence to obtain water from a huge groundwater reservoir in Vestfjorddalen, just below where the facility will be.

JLEN said: “It is expected that partial operations will commence in 2024 with full operations expected in 2025, following which, the facility is forecasted to produce approximately 8,000 tonnes of trout annually.

“This will be sold to European and international salmonid markets via an offtake agreement with an established Norwegian seafood distribution company with global reach.”

Richard Ramsay, Senior Independent Director at JLEN, said: “We are pleased to make our first investment into land-based aquaculture, contributing to the sustainable supply of trout to meet rising consumer demand. We consider that this investment will deliver environmental benefits to the food system and offer a product to suit today’s consumer needs.”

The water in the area is exceptionally clean, which is an important factor in trout farming, but the Hima project will also use warm water from the nearby Green Mountain data centre cooling system, which will then be returned to the centre.

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