Nordlaks bets big on large smolt strategy; invests $40 million in land-based facility

Matthew Wilcox

The new facility is expected to be fully operational in 2025.

Norwegian salmon farmer Nordlaks is investing NOK 400 million ($40 million) to expand its smolt facility in Lofoten, Norway.

This expansion marks a substantial upgrade to Norway’s largest privately owned salmon farmer’s operations, which already owns three smolt plants.

The expansion strategy of Nordlaks at their Nusfjord facility is a comprehensive one, encompassing not only the retention of their existing setup, which includes eight outdoor tanks, but also the addition of significant new infrastructure. This includes a new quay linked by a road, a modern dam, and the development of an expansive 6,000 square meter facility equipped with a state-of-the-art recirculating aquaculture system (RAS).

Øivind Skjevling, the Director of Nordlak’s smolt operations, highlights the strategic significance of this project. He notes, “Our decision to focus on larger smolt aligns with Nordlak’s broader strategy to boost production capacity in Nusfjord significantly.” This shift towards cultivating larger smolt is not just a production choice but a move towards sustainability. Larger smolts, which spend less time in the sea, are less susceptible to challenges like sea lice and diseases.

Photo: Nordlaks / Terje Nergård Nilsen

This approach, as outlined by Nordlaks, also has implications for the better utilization of marine sites. By reducing the time fish spend in the sea, the company can manage its locations more effectively and implement longer fallow periods, thereby contributing to a more sustainable aquaculture environment.

In addition to these advancements in aquaculture technology, Nordlaks is also upgrading the region’s infrastructure. Recognizing the limitations of relying on a single mobile mast for communication, the company has taken a significant step by installing improved internet access throughout Nusfjord, thereby enhancing connectivity and communication capabilities in the area.


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