THE UK’s largest salmon farming company, Marine Harvest, has unveiled plans to build a new fish processing plant in the Highlands, according to a report yesterday in Aberdeen’s Press and Journal.
The site, at Corpach, is a former saw mill and Marine Harvest has applied to Highland Council for planning permission to convert it into a processing facility.
The company, which has 550 employees in the UK, said its current processing operation on the Blar Mhor industrial estate near Caol, which it opened in 1987, is not big enough to cope with output.
Marine Harvest is now processing ten times as much salmon as it did when the original plant opened and it is looking to expand. The Corpach option is one of several under consideration.
The planning application, lodged last week, said the company proposes to construct a new plant comprising all primary and secondary processes, and all attendant plant, staff, office and welfare facilities.
Steve Bracken, business support manager for Marine Harvest Scotland, said: ‘This site is one of a number of site options we’re looking at to expand our salmon processing facilities.
‘The existing processing plant at Blar Mhor was originally built in 1987 for a throughput of 5,000 tonnes and in recent times it’s been processing 50,000 tonnes.
‘With our recent expansion in freshwater and seawater production we need to have a new processing plant that can deal with an even higher throughput.’
He said the timescale for the new plant would be four to five years.
Earlier this year Marine Harvest announced it was moving its administrative staff and management from Blar Mhor to Glen Nevis Business Park in Fort William in April.
Marine Harvest Scotland operates four hatcheries, four freshwater loch sites and 46 sea farms situated in Lochaber, Skye, Lochalsh, Wester Ross, Argyll and the Western Isles.
It has been undergoing an £80 million expansion programme to meet growing demand around the world for Scottish farmed salmon.