Nordlaks set to resume shelved investment projects

Tomas Tommerås, Director of Operations

Nordlaks, Norway’s largest privately owned salmon farmer, is resuming a major investment programme it cancelled following the announcement of the salmon tax 18 months ago.

Plans for a new slaughterhouse, filleting department and offices at Børøya in Stokmarknes were among several aquaculture projects put on hold in the autumn of 2022 by the industry.

Tomas Tømmerås Director of Operations at Nordlaks Produkter, (pictured) said: “We are building for the future and will continue to produce food and create jobs. Then we have to renew ourselves.”

Development on Børøya in Stokmarknes, where Nordlaks has its head office, began in 2018. The expanded site, case factory, new cooling terminal and new water treatment plant were in place in the first phase.

Tømmerås added: “The board has now decided to resume phase 2, which was put on hold in connection with the introduction of the new cash flow-based ground rent tax.

“We are at a crossroads and must either build new or carry out extensive maintenance in order to renew ourselves and adapt to future requirements.”

The new filleting department will, among other things, provide the opportunity to produce “pre-rigor”, which means processing day-fresh salmon. Phase 2 of the development project was supposed to be completed in 2025, while it is now estimated to be completed in 2027.

“This is an investment that has been postponed for a year and a half. We are now moving on and dealing with the fact that everything apart from sea is not subject to ground rent tax [“salmon tax”] and that normal tax rules apply,” says Tømmerås.

The details of the project, such as area, cost framework and timetable, have yet to be finalised.

“We are still in dialogue with contractors about this. What has been decided now is that we will resume the project. In the long run, the alternative would be to stop operating and that is not an option for us. We will continue to be a community builder and food producer into the future,” said Tømmerås.

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