MOWI has a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to build a state-of-the-art fish processing facility in Scotland, according to managing director Ben Hadfield.
The preferred option is to construct a new factory on Skye, on the site of the company’s new feed plant in Kyleakin.
With bumper harvests expected this year and a long-term strategy for growing the business, Mowi Scotland will need to increase existing processing capacity, currently located at the Blar Mhor plant in Fort William and in Rosyth.
‘We can develop a processing programme that not only provides high quality fish to our customers, but also ensures we best utilise our talented staff alongside the latest technologies to create a workplace that can provide a proper work-life balance,’ Hadfield told The Scoop, Mowi’s monthly newsletter.
‘The fact that we are reaching capacity at Blar Mhor is testament to the hard work of staff across Scotland and a very positive indication for the business.’
He said there are several options to expand the company’s processing facilities: increasing capacity in Fort William, either by expanding the current facility at Blar Mhor, or by identifying a suitable site elsewhere in Fort William; increasing the capacity at Mowi’s Irish factory in Donegal; expanding the value-added facility at Rosyth and increasing its scope; introducing ocean processing on board Mowi’s vessels; or building a new processing facility at Kyleakin.
‘While all options are on the table at this point, and whilst it is still early days and there is a lot of work to do, a preferred option is to build a new state-of-the-art facility at our feed plant at Kyleakin,’ said Hadfield.
‘The reasons that made Kyleakin our preferred choice to build our new feed plant are also relevant when choosing a location for a fish processing facility.
‘We have invested a lot of money into the pier and it makes sense to optimise that. We would be able to bring our salmon directly from our farms by sea to Kyleakin and the pier would not limit the size of vessel transporting the salmon, as is currently the case at Mallaig where the salmon are harvested.
‘At Kyleakin, we could build a facility with future capacity in mind and we could harvest, process and fillet the fish all in the same location.’
The target for completion and full operation of the new plant, wherever it is sited, is 2024.
Picture: Ben Hadfield