Norway Royal Salmon is to receive NOK 800 million (£68m) in state guarantees from towards the construction of its futuristic offshore submersible fish farm and hatchery, Arctic Offshore Farming.
The loan assurance has come from the Guarantee Institute for Export Credit, commonly known in Norway as Giek, an organisation which reduces the risk for businesses and their banks.
Giek says lower risk gives parties the incentive to sign contracts and increase exporter competitiveness. Already this year it has supplied almost NOK 4.8 billion (£410m) to the country’s seafood industry.
According to the news website E24.no, the guarantee reduces the risk for Danske Bank, which lent money to NRS for the giant project.
Ola Loe, chief financial officer of NRS, told E.24 it was great news that Geik was supporting Norwegian growth projects. Loe added: “We greatly appreciate a financing solution that gives us good loan terms. This helps to finance major development projects for the industry and for Norway Royal Salmon. It can make us more sustainable and gives Norway the opportunity to use new areas to produce salmon.”
Construction work on the Arctic Offshore Farming platform has been delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic, but it should be launched into the sea by next summer. Meanwhile, the hatchery at Dåfjord, which is part of the project, is on schedule.
Total investment in the two projects, which have embraced some of the most advanced marine technology available, is thought to be around two billion kroner (£172m).
Able to withstand 15 metre high waves, the depth of the Arctic Offshore Farming platform can be adjusted to provide protection for fish and nets during rough weather. The cage will be able to keep the salmon at least 10 metres under water to reduce lice numbers.
The new hatchery will be one the largest facilities of its kind. It will be equipped with the latest water recycling and discharge treatment technology and will have an annual capacity of 10 million salmon smolts, with a size of up to 400g.
NRS says: “Salmon live most of their lives in the open sea. It is only for short periods that they are in the fjords before they go up into the rivers to spawn.
“With Arctic Offshore Farming, we have developed a fish farm that, as far as possible, gives the salmon the opportunity to be in the open sea. By combining Norway Royal Salmon’s knowledge from the aquaculture industry with Aker’s long industrial experience from maritime businesses, construction of offshore installations and fishing, the goal is to solve the environmental and area challenge in the industry.”
The company adds: “Arctic Offshore Farming is dimensioned for weather-hardy areas further from the coast than traditional facilities. In addition, it is submersible so that we avoid salmon lice to a great extent. This industrial project will contribute to sustainable growth for the Norwegian aquaculture industry and contribute to the FAO’s (UN Food and Agricultural Organisation) ambitious goal of growth in the aquaculture industry globally.”