Bakkafrost’s ‘clever way’ to create 40% growth

Faroese salmon farmer Bakkafrost forecasts volume growth of 40 per cent

THE Faroe Islands’ biggest salmon farmer, Bakkafrost, expects volume growth of 40 per cent over the next four years, CEO Regin Jacobsen said today.

The increase of 22,000 tonnes, to 76,000 tonnes, will be driven partly by larger smolt and the newly developed Suduroy cluster of farms in the south.

When Bakkafrost’s Strond smolt plant is operating at full capacity – about six months from now – it will produce 3,000 tonnes of smolts a year, which corresponds to seven million fish at 500g. Other sites will then be converted to produce 500g smolts as well.

At a Capital Markets Day presentation, Jacobsen said Bakkafrost’s larger smolt strategy would reduce cycles, with smolt size gradually increasing from 100-200g to 500g by 2022.

Smolt release will increase from 10-11 million to 16 million over the next four years, enabling Bakkafrost to grow its whole operation and achieve 76,000 tonnes of harvested salmon.

Bakkafrost CEO Regin Jacobsen

This was a ‘clever way to create growth’, he said; it was based on existing licences in the fjords and excluded offshore developments.

But overall capacity would be expanded even further by moving some sites to more exposed areas, and reducing the fjord stage even more.

The Faroe Islands had introduced legislation enabling Bakkafrost to have new licences offshore and the company could ‘copy’ infrastructure that worked elsewhere.

‘We are building capacity for 100,000 tonnes,’ said Jacobsen, adding that Bakkafrost was investing 2.5 billion DKK (about £298 million) in the next four years, had plans to take salmon weights up to six kilos and could grow beyond 100,000 tonnes in the future.