Nordic Aquafarms CEO on RAS supplier bankruptcy filing: “We are not vulnerable”

Stian Olsen

Nordic Aquafarm’s CEO, Erik Heim, said the bankruptcy of Danish RAS supplier, Inter Aqua Advance (IAA) will not have major consequences for his company’s land-based projects in Norway and the United States.

On Wednesday, SalmonBusiness reported IAA’s bankruptcy filing.

The Nordic Aquafarm and IAA entered into something as late as April, which was referred to as “a long-term strategic agreement to develop, design and deliver large recycling plants in Norway, as well as in the United States.” Nordic Aquafarms is currently building land-based facilities in both Fredrikstad, Norway and Maine in the United States.

SalmonBusiness put the question in an email to Nordic Aquafarms, Erik Heim, if the bankruptcy would have any consequences for the business:

“We have worked with several RAS suppliers and we still today. IAA was one of them. In addition, we have been building our own engineering department, so we have become increasingly independent in engineering and project management. The designs we have developed are our own, we are not vulnerable in such a context. In the US, we are also building our engineering capacities.

Unaware of filing
Mr Heim wrote to us that that most customers will take the right action if a supplier goes bankrupt and that the company has taken action to ensure interests and ownership of the design. Holm emphasised that they did not have a running delivery contract therefore there was little financial exposure.

“The important thing for us is that the consequence is not material as contracts and other plans handle this in a good way as regards our interests in the matter.

He writes that it is sad when a company in a growing industry goes bankrupt and that he sympathised for IAA’s employees. But he did not know why the bankruptcy occurred.

“We, as well as other of their customers, I do not have detailed information about what really went wrong. We were notified the same day as when this came out in the media. Commenting on something else becomes pure speculation as we have no facts to base any comments on. From time to time, companies go bankrupt for many reasons,” he said.

Alerts measures
Nordic Aquafarm’s chairman, Lars Henrik Røren, rejected the notion that the bankruptcy will any financial or timely negative impact on Nordic Aquafarms.

“We have already taken the situation into account and taken action in a way that will strengthen Nordic Aquafarm’s company. We have dealt the situation for Inter Aqua in favour of Nordic Aquafarms. Good business will be done. We will return with our measures with detailed information about, probably at the end of next week. There are still some things around this beyond our control, but we strongly believe that everything fits well in accordance with our good, value-creating and targeted plan” he wrote in an email.

The Danish RAS supplier has also been involved in Grieg Seafood’s new smolt plant in Finnmark, northern Norway. Andreas Kvame, CEO of Grieg Seafood, He didn’t know either why they went bankrupt. Things where going according to the plan, when the news broke.

“There has been nothing wrong with us. It is therefore a little surprising what happened” he told to SalmonBusiness.

Kvame said they are currently working on securing equipment and obtaining local craftsmen so that the project can be completed.

IAA received a profit before tax of EUR 523 thousand in 2017, and has delivered surplus over the past three years. At year-end, the company had a book equity of close to EUR 800 thousand and a total debt of EUR 5 million.

Salmon has attempted to contact representatives from IAA but they have yet not answered our inquiries.