Future of Marine Harvest’s ‘Egg’ project hangs on license decisions

by Stian Olsen

Marine Harvest Public Affairs Manager Eivind Nævdal-Bolstad says that the future of his company’s project known as ‘The Egg’ depends largely on the cooperation of the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries (NDF).

Early in June the NDF came to a decision on the development licenses for Marine Harvest’s ‘Egg’ concept:  the development of closed tanks for producing salmon. The company had applied for 14 licenses, but was granted only four.

Marine Harvest previously indicated that all 14 licenses were necessary to initiate the comprehensive investment programme for the ‘Egg’,  a project that the company is developing in cooperation with the technology firm Hauge Aqua.

Serious consequences
The major producer has therefore appealed the decision, and according to Nævdal-Bolstad, an eventual refusal to grant more licenses could have serious consequences for the project.

“As we wrote in our stock exchange report, we have decided to appeal the decision on the awarding of just four licenses for The Egg. Four is far too few licenses to realise the project, and does not enable the full-scale development of the concept. Obviously, the project’s economics are crucially dependent on the number of awarded licenses.”

Bolstad is convinced the ‘Egg’ will lead to a revolution in fish farming.

“The Egg has technology that meets all the criteria the authorities have set for projects to qualify for development licenses. We believe strongly that it has the potential to revolutionise the way we engage in fish farming,” he said.

Wait and see
Bolstad declined to comment on whether or not he thinks the authorities are overly thrifty in awarding the licenses. Neither was he willing to reveal the cost of ‘The Egg’, as he is waiting to see how matters progress.

“We’re now awaiting the authorities’ action on the matter, before we take a stance in regard to further progress with the project. We hope and trust the authorities appreciate the need for industrial trialling and provide more licenses so that the technology can be realised and tested at full-scale as soon as possible”.

Also read: Meagre awarding of licenses could inhibit innovation




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