Has local supplier industry backing its land-based investment

Below you can read the translation of the article by Jørn-Arne Tomasgard (ilaks.no) from 19 May 2021. The original article in Norwegian can be found here.

The OFS group has mobilized local industry and competence in the Måløy area in a land-based development with a goal of 15,000 tonnes of biomass.

Image above: Many promises together: Working chairman of the board Trond-Inge Kvernevik in Onshore Technologies AS (ONTEC) in the centre together with representatives of the environment who work with the large-scale land-based investment in Måløy. From left Ronny Magne Almenning (co-owner and chairman of OFS Norway), Frank Husevåg (architect and construction manager in Husevåg Arkitektur), Rune Berg (Sætren), Endre Kvalheim (Koda), Mona Bakke Svarstad (aquaculture education Måløy high school), Håkon Sjåstad (Simona Stadpipe ), Inger Vedvik Nygård (Fagskulen Sogn og Fjordane) and Yngve Hjertenes (project manager ONTEC). PHOTO: JØRN-ARNE TOMASGARD

The first construction phase is underway and during the autumn the plan is to set the first generation of fish in tanks at the industrial area in Barstadvika between Måløy and Raudeberg. The plot is 30.000 m² and is located by the sea in Ulvesundet in close proximity to shipping lanes. Various professional in the industrial area around Måløy are known for standing together and offering total services to the shipping industry. This mindset has now been applied to land-based farming.

When iLaks comes to visit, working board chairman Trond-Inge Kvernevik has managed to gather a large number of the professionals he has backing him in this initiative.

Our nearest neighbour is the shipyard Båtbygg. When Austral Fisheries repeatedly comes from around the world to build its ships here, it reflects that the maritime cluster in the Nordfjord and Sunnmøre region are skilled at collaborating on total deliveries of expertise and equipment in complex projects. Reliable operation and service 24/7 are unavoidable requirements. It is this type of culture we are building on, says Kvernevik.

From smolt to processing

The planned investment is comprehensive and ranges from ordinary land-based farming from smolt to full-size fish, to slaughterhouse, processing and a competence centre with industrial-scale operation to cultivate cutting-edge expertise on land-based projects.

Key partners include the industrial plumbing company Simona Stadpipe, the vessel supplier Koda, the electrical and automation company Sætren, the department for aquaculture at Måløy upper secondary school and the Vocational School in Sogn og Fjordane maritime department. The operating company ONTEC also works closely with the Danish RAS specialists Pisco Group.

Soon ready: The so-called ONTEC Academy will soon be completed and here, according to the plan, fish will come to mind during the autumn. On the second floor there will be office facilities and a viewing center. PHOTO: JØRN-ARNE TOMASGARD

Competence centre

The first construction phase they currently working on is 2,000 square meters and will include the competence centre ONTEC Acadamy. In addition to the verification phase for licensee OFS Måløy, there will also be R&D and training in collaboration with everything from business partners, upper secondary school, vocational school and Måløy Maritime Resource Centre Ocean Blue, which conducts research and development work.

Competence center: The idea is that the land-based facility will provide space for both an operational land-based fish farm and for training. Here, Yngve Hjertenes, project manager at ONTEC, and Mona Bakke Svarstad, project manager for aquaculture at Måløy high school, discuss. PHOTO: JØRN-ARNE TOMASGARD

The plant will be a hybrid plant where all the units are independent and can function in recycling (RAS), flow-through and reuse.

The plan is to continue thereafter the development of the first construction phase with a capacity of 7,500 tonnes of biomass. This will occupy 27.000 m² of land. There are plans to double the capacity to 15,000 tonnes of biomass, which will require expansion of the plot.

The plot: We see the start of the development in connection with the existing building mass at the end of the area. The plan is to use the vacant area to build a land-based fish farm. Måløy town is located right behind the headland in the background. PHOTO: JØRN-ARNE TOMASGARD

Will have an established aquaculture industry

On the way to Måløy, we drive past several hung banners with the inscription “No to more farming in our fjord”. Investing in further growth at sea is controversial in an area that is in a red zone for aquaculture development in the government’s eyes. But Kvernevik does not believe ONTEC alone is the solution for the aquaculture industry to be able to grow in the region.

– It is a diversion to talk about taking the existing salmon industry ashore. Off-shore farming is effective, but has growth challenges related to location, disease and the environment. The industry knows this, which is why among other things it looks at more closed systems, and to prolong growth on land in order to make better use of both smolt facilities and sea licenses. The Norwegian coast is the area in the world where you can have the most experts on salmon and modern farming techniques. The increase in competence in the operation of land-based facilities that taking place now is a natural development of the industry. For our part, it is positive to include a player who is already in the industry. These are things we are currently working on, confirms Kvernevik.

Fishing company from Andenes on the owner’s side

The company structure is organised so that OFS Norway owns 100 percent of OFS Måløy, which has a license of 15,000 tonnes in Barstadvik, and the majority shares of the technology company Onshore Technologies (ONTEC).

Behind OFS Norway are, among others, the local industrial player Ronny Magne Almenning, and AH Holding from Andenes who has a background from trawling vessels. According to Kvernevik, Carisma Fish owner Arild Aarvik and Olav Refvik, a local investor known for having made a career on Wall Street, are also on the investor side.

Leading the development: Trond-Inge Kvernevik is working chairman of the board of Onshore Technologies (ONTEC). PHOTO: JØRN-ARNE TOMASGARD