SALMAR AND AKER LINK UP TO CREATE ‘WORLD’S MOST RELIABLE AND INTELLIGENT’ FISH FARM
One of the world’s largest producers of farmed salmon, SalMar ASA, has announced that it has entered a strategic partnership with Aker ASA to create the world’s most reliable and intelligent offshore farming operation, “marking the start of a new era in the seafood industry.”
According to an announcement, the new joint company, SalMar Aker Ocean AS (“SalMar Aker Ocean”), will operate within offshore fish farming, and combine Aker and SalMar’s industry experience – leading competence in salmon production, software, and cleantech.
The company will have a strong focus on high standards of fish welfare, sustainability and a zero-emissions value chain ambition.
“SalMar’s focus on the open ocean marked the start of a new era in the seafood industry,” Gustav Witzøe, CEO of SalMar, commented. “We are very pleased to be partnering with a strong industry partner like Aker. Together, we will be at the forefront of ensuring sustainable growth on the salmon’s terms, utilising the potential of the ocean to produce healthier food, deploying digital technologies, cleantech, and using superior supplier industry capabilities at a critical time for ensuring sustainable food production in the long-term. Together, we can take the next technological leap for offshore farming, with a global ambition.”
SalMar Aker Ocean has an ambition to develop a world leading company with global presence.
The company will initially focus on establishment of offshore fish farming in Norwegian waters, which will require a regulatory framework for offshore fish farming. SalMar Aker Ocean will collaborate with Norwegian regulators, the aquaculture industry, and other interested parties for the establishment of such framework. In the longer term, SalMar Aker Ocean will target growth in international markets building on experience and know-how from Norway.
The new offshore technology opens vast new areas for fish farming with optimal biological conditions for the salmon, according to the announcement. SalMar Aker Ocean will continue to develop the offshore technology to ensure production on the salmon’s terms, meet the highest requirements in respect of fish welfare and minimize the environmental footprint.
“The aquaculture industry is at the cusp of a new, more sustainable era, opening up for a new resource base and with green production,” Øyvind Eriksen, President and CEO of Aker, said. “The new company combines Aker’s leading industrial track record within offshore operations with SalMar’s history as one of the world’s largest and most efficient producers of farmed salmon. We also share a vision for the potential of software, data, and analytics, and we believe we can join forces to take the next step to develop ocean farming, including using technology and joint industrial capabilities to protect ocean health, fish welfare and promote sustainable growth.”
SalMar and Aker through its wholly-owned subsidiary Aker Capital AS, will eventually own 66.6% and 33.4%, respectively, of the joint company, SalMar Aker Ocean, which will comprise SalMar’s interests in its semi-offshore and offshore farming operations.
Aker will contribute up to NOK 1.65 billion (€16m) in cash in three segments. The company will continue the ongoing work within testing, learning, researching, and developing offshore farming operations, including through the world’s first operating offshore fish farm, Ocean Farm 1; and the technology of the innovative Smart Fish Farms to be positioned in offshore Norwegian waters, and eventually internationally
Norway is currently at the forefront in developing this technology and industry worldwide. Ocean Farm 1 and Smart Fish Farm have both been developed with a unique interdisciplinary partnership between SalMar – building on more than 30 years of experience – and world-leading players in Norway within aquaculture, offshore and R&D. Olav Andreas Ervik will head the company as CEO and the board will consist of six members, including Gustav Witzøe, Atle Eide, Kjell Inge Røkke and Øyvind Eriksen.
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