Factory that processes 40% of all UK salmon finalizes major upgrade

Editorial Staff

The Fort William facility has expanded its capacity to more than 80,000 tons annually.

The world’s largest salmon farmer, Mowi is in the final stages of a significant upgrade to its salmon processing plant in Fort William, Scotland.

The enhancements include the installation of advanced food processing and packaging systems, provided by Icelandic equipment supplier Marel.

The upgrade will increase the plant’s efficiency, enabling it to process and pack 200 fish per minute and expand its capacity to over 80,000 tons annually, according to a press release from the salmon producer.

Mowi’s Sales and Operations Director Scott Nolan, emphasized the upgrade’s importance, stating it was crucial for maintaining high-quality standards and maximizing throughput.

“The last major upgrade to this facility came in 2006, and with the fast pace of the aquaculture sector, there are many new and innovative food processing solutions available to us today.”

Photo: Mowi

As much as 40% of the UK’s largest agricultural export, salmon, passes through this facility, according Nolan.

The improved facility is equipped with two automatic packing graders and five box lines, ensuring consistent and substantial throughput.

The upgraded equipment includes systems for sorting and gutting fish with quality assessment, re-working rejected fish, and internal quality identification. Automated packing and grading equipment are used for efficient handling and packaging of the fish, with capabilities for dynamic weighing and labeling. Additionally, the plant features advanced systems for ice dosing, lid application, and metal detection, ensuring product safety and quality. Central to the operation is the Innova production software, which integrates various processing stages, from grading to robot-assisted palletizing, streamlining the entire operation and maintaining high standards of efficiency and product quality.

The upgrade was supported by a £2 million grant from the UK Government’s Seafood Fund in 2022, aimed at enhancing infrastructure, supporting local jobs, and reducing the carbon footprint.


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