First harvest at Proximar’s Mount Fuji site now only months away

source: Proximar video

Proximar Seafood said today that the first commercial harvest for its land-based salmon farm in Japan will take place in “high summer”, in the third quarter of this year.

In a trading update for the fourth quarter of 2023, Chief Executive Joachim Nielsen said the site, at Oyama in the foothills of Mount Fuji, is moving from the “construction” phase to an “operational phase”.

“2024 will be a pivotal year for our company, and we are looking forward to supplying fresh Atlantic salmon to Japanese consumers, lifting the company from investing to solid revenue streams,” he added.

“The first fish were transferred to the post-smolt grow-out facility in December, marking an important milestone on the company’s schedule for the first harvest in Q3 2024.

“We are transitioning from construction to an operational phase with harvest of the first fish expected in Q3 this year.

The standing biomass at the end of the quarter was 39.8 metric tonnes, up from 11.5 metric tonnes at the end of Q3.

The next significant operational step is expected in April, when production will be initiated in the second of four modules in the post smolt grow-out building.

“We are pleased to see the standing biomass increase at pace, whilst the growth of the fish remains according to expectations,” Nielsen said.

Fish health and safety remained a key priority, and the company had a highly skilled team in place to deliver on its plans,” he added.

Proximar experienced an incident with a tank breach in February, which resulted in a loss of 50,000 fish or approximately 5% of its total individuals in the production. The fish affected were planned to be harvested towards the end of Q4 2024 and the loss will impact the harvested volumes for 2024 by approximately 250 tonnes. Proximar said the loss will have limited impact on the company’s overall harvesting plan volumes in the medium term (2024 – 2025).

“We’re proud of our team working effortlessly as we grow our biomass towards the first harvest later this year. Although we’ve experienced issues with the tank breach following the quarter end, initiatives have been made to prevent similar incidents. This remains our number one priority”, Nielsen said.

Investigations have been ongoing since the incident, and the company is assessing several initiatives to prevent similar events from happening, including strengthening the tank foundation through reinforcing the sand/soil masses around the centre module and strengthening the tank floor. The estimated cost of this is approximately NOK 5 million (£370,000).

The report said the market for Atlantic salmon in Japan has over time been showing positive growth and robustness. High salmon prices in Japan towards the end of last year had tempered demand and resulted in a decrease in consumption, but the underlying trend was nevertheless positive, and demand for Atlantic salmon is expected to continue growing going forward.

Proximar has an off-take agreement in place with its Japanese sales and distribution partner Marubeni for all its volumes produced from the facility, targeting 5,300 tonnes per year in steady state.

Proximar salmon farm, Oyama, Japan



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