SAMHERJI INVESTS IN PILOT LAND-BASED SALMON FARM
Samherji fiskeldi ehf. (Samherji Fish Farming), the aquaculture arm of Samherji has just completed a share capital increase of 26 million USD. The funds will be used to build a pilot project for land-based salmon farming in Öxarfjördur, in Northeast Iceland, and design and construct a 40,000-tonne salmon farm in the Resource Park next to the Reykjanes Power Plant in the Reykjanes Peninsula.
This is the first phase of a share capital increase of 56,5 million USD that has already been approved. Following the share capital increase, a new board will be elected in Samherji Fish Farming at the company’s annual general meeting. Norwegian Alf-Helge Aarskog, former CEO of Mowi and one of the world’s most experienced experts in the field of aquaculture, has invested in Samherji Fish Farming and will join the company’s board of directors.
Aarskog’s board participation is a significant vote of confidence for Samherji Fish Farming and its ambitious plans for land-based aquaculture. Aarskog is a very successful business executive. Until recently, he was the CEO of Mowi, the largest fish farming company globally, which produces 20 percent of all salmon sold worldwide.
A recognition of Samherji’s development of land farming
“There are few people in the world who have more experience in fish farming than Alf-Helge Aarskog. An individual with vast knowledge and experience in international aquaculture and a large network is now joining the board to take our knowledge to the next level. This is a great recognition of Samherji’s development of land farming over the past two decades,” says Jón Kjartan Jónsson, managing director of Samherji Fish Farming.
The site in Öxarfjördur will double in size
The operations of Samherji Fish Farming are involved in all stages of aquaculture and processing, from roe to the consumer. The company currently operates five farms and two processing plants. The company specializes in land farming of Arctic char and salmon. Until now, Arctic char has been the majority of the production, but development is currently underway for a significant increase in the production of salmon. Construction has begun on the expansion of land farming on the site in Öxarfjördur. Today, the facility produces 1,500 tonnes of salmon annually, but production will increase to 3,000 tonnes when the pilot project is completed. According to current projections, fish will enter the new tanks on-site by the end of this year. The farm in Öxarfjördur has for several years been one of the world’s largest producers of salmon raised on land.
A 340 milljon USD investment in Reykjanes
Samherji will build and operate a land-based farm in Reykjanes Peninsula, where the aim is to produce 40,000 tonnes of salmon annually. The fish farm will be in the Resource Park next to the Reykjanes Power Plant and will consist of a hatchery, a breeding farm, a processing plant, and service buildings. The total investment is estimated at over 340 million USD. Work on the environmental assessment and local planning for the facility is currently underway. The fish farm will be designed and constructed based on the experience of new units in the pilot project in Öxarfjördur and Samherji’s employees’ more than twenty years of experience and development in farming salmon and Arctic char on land.
Fascinating times ahead
“I am honored to be asked to take part in this project. The competence of the people in Samherji around fish and land-based farming is a great foundation. The fact that Samherji has produced Atlantic salmon and Arctic Char on land for a long period of time makes this the first land-based project I have looked at that I really can believe in. The location chosen for this project, with abundant resources of water and energy, makes the project extremely interesting. There are fascinating times ahead for Samherji Fish Farming. The company has ambitious plans and the ability to achieve them and become a leading company in salmon farming in the world. I am very excited about this project and look forward to participating in the development and growth ahead,” says Alf-Helge Aarskog.
The largest investment in the history of Samherji
“Alf-Helge Aarskog’s investment and board participation is not only a gain for Samherji Fish Farming but also Icelandic business as a whole. His board membership is, of course, a great vote of confidence for Samherji’s staff. Moreover, the expansion that has begun at Samherji Fish Farming marks a certain milestone, as this is the largest investment project that Samherji and affiliated companies have embarked on in Samherji’s 39-year history,” says Thorsteinn Már Baldvinsson, CEO of Samherji.