Cermaq names constructor for NOK 850m smolt plant

Cermaq has awarded the construction contract for its new £64m (NOK 850m) RAS plant at Sørøya, near the North Cape of Norway.

The established and highly experienced turnkey company Total Betong has been selected to carry out this major RAS (recirculating aquaculture system) project in one of the most northerly parts of the country.

The move also means that it will go ahead despite earlier fears it might be delayed by investment cutbacks over the salmon tax.

It says the plant will be designed especially with biosecurity and fish welfare in mind, and will produce approximately 12 million post-smolts annually. When the facility is finished in 2025, it will create 24 new jobs in Hasvik municipality.

Cermaq put the spade in the ground on Sørøya in June for the start of the foundation works for the 22,000 square metre post smolt plant, with the aim of completing as much preparatory work as possible before winter. The work is well under way and according to plan.

Total Betong will have primary responsibility for the operation of the construction site. The agreement has a value of approximately NOK 850 million and will be one of the largest assignments Total Betong has delivered within aquaculture.

Bjørn Atle Jacobsen, project manager for the Postsmolt Finnmark project in Cermaq, said: “Total Betong is a competent and experienced supplier that will contribute to a facility that will give our fish a safe start in life,”

“Cermaq has chosen collaborative contracting as the implementation model for the project. This means that Total Betong, RAS supplier AKVA group and Cermaq will work closely together from early planning right through to start-up of the finished plant.”

Jacobsen added “Stable production of high-quality smolt is important for the profitability of the project. We are confident that this is the right model to further develop today’s RAS design, find cost-effective solutions, take care of complex interfaces between building and process and to ensure optimal operation in the new facility,”

Olav Bang-Haagensen, Head of Aquaculture at Total Betong, said: “Total Betong AS has proudly delivered turnkey contracts for smolt plants for over 10 years, and deeply values the trust that Cermaq has shown us.

“We look forward to further developing this success story with Cermaq and contributing to their goal of delivering high-quality seafood to the world.”

The new plant will be Cermaq’s first smolt plant in Finnmark. When it is completed in 2025, it will help cover the company’s own need for smolt.

Cermaq will also use technology that strengthens biosecurity and fish health and thus significantly reduces the risk of disease.

Marit Holmvaag Mehus, Head of Nursery Fish at Cermaq Norway, said: “We call this RAS 2.0 technology, where the fish’s health and welfare are in the driver’s seat.

“We are very much looking forward to getting started with the construction of the facility itself, and believe this will be an innovative and forward-looking workplace for those who will be working here with the latest in technology for smolt production.”




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