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Rising energy cost causing problems for Norway RAS projects

September 22, 2022  By Nestor Arellano


Planned Ecofisk RAS facility (Image: Ecofisk)

Rearing fish on land is energy intensive. With the rising cost of power, a number of Norwegian companies planning to build recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facilities are feeling the pressure.

Case in point is Ecofisk, an aquaculture start-up which announced in 2020 that it planned to build “Norway’s largest fully integrated salmon farm” and produce 40,000 tons of fish.

In a recent interview with SalmonBusiness, Ecofisk managing director Bjørn Inge Staalesen said that now the rising price of electricity is prompting his company to rethink their business.

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The aquaculture industry has had to deal with two years of the supply chain problems caused by the Covid pandemic, and now an inflation energy crisis brought on by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“For us, it is now about reducing the power requirement for the future.” Staalesen said.  “You have to come up with better solutions to the electricity crisis, otherwise we will have no industry in Norway.”

Aquaculture publication iLaks said there are about 117 companies involved in land-based aquaculture projects. This amounts to an estimated 7.7 million tons of production.

Not all all of this projects will be able to access the funding the amount of  hope for, and finding money is has become harder in the last year and a half, iLaks said.

For instance Kvidul which planned to build a facility with a production capacity of 20,000 tons, cancelled a NOK 50 million issue earlier this year, according to iLaks. Another company, Columbia Salmon also postponed planned initial public offerings several time.


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