EWOS Steps Up Effort in Fish Health Research

EWOS has begun construction on a US$9.5 million research centre named EWOS Fish Health Centre in the Los Lagos region of Chile.
March 5, 2015

EWOS has begun construction on a US$9.5 million research centre named EWOS Fish Health Centre in the Los Lagos region of Chile. 

“Food is important for health – this is the case for fish as well. Feed is a key part of the solution to improving fish health. Through research and innovation, we will offer our customers the best health feed products that can possibly be made,” commented EWOS CEO Einar Wathne.

The Board of EWOS Group decided to invest over 80 million kroner in a new EWOS Fish Health Centre. The unit will be located in the Los Lagos region of Chile. Building permits and other necessary licenses are in place, and EWOS started construction February 23, 2015.

Health feeds are a priority for EWOS, particularly health feed for farmed salmon. \"Through our product development, we have contributed to a reduced dependence on medicines and environmentally controversial drugs in salmon farming. EWOS Innovation in Dirdal has through decades built up leading competency on research and innovation in this area\", Einar Wathne said. The units in Norway and Chile will cooperate and complement each other in the future.

“Through decades, EWOS has made bold investments in research and development,\" CEO Einar Wathne commented. \"In 1996, we spent 20 million kroner to build the feed technology centre in Dirdal. Now we bring this tradition further. The investment we are now making, is as far as we know the largest investment in research and development made by a private operator in the salmon industry. A record investment of which we are proud, and an investment that will benefit both our company and the aquaculture industry in general.”

Adel El-Mowafi, Research Director at EWOS Innovation, expects that the unit in Chile will increase research capacity significantly: “We will be able to do four to five times more studies each year and speed up our investigation into how feed can reduce the harmful effects of sea lice. We expect to quickly make new improvements on existing products and within two to three years we plan to launch new health feed products. Simultaneously, the new capacity will enable us to react even quicker to novel health challenges that may emerge in the future.”

Health challenges
EWOS Fish Health Centre will extend over 2950 square meters and contain systems for water purification, hatchery, research area and laboratories. From start-up, the centre will have 25-30 employees.

The researchers will focus on developing feed products that can help to combat challenges from sea lice, as well as the diseases like SRS and AGD.

“Threats such as sea lice and diseases are the most serious challenges to salmon farming. These threats limit opportunities for sustainable growth of the industry and also affect both reputation and financial results. Feed cannot solve this challenge alone. However, our results have shown that we can make an important contribution in partnership with other measures in the aquaculture industry. Through this record investment, we increase our contribution significantly,” commented Einar Wathne.

EWOS Group, which is owned by Altor Equity Partners and Bain Capital, has approximately a third of the world market for feed for farmed salmon and trout. The company sold over 1.1 million tonnes of feed in 2013, with revenues of more than NOK 10,8 billion. It has 22 production lines in seven feedmills – three in Norway, as well as one in Chile, Canada, Scotland and Vietnam. EWOS employed 1,039 people in 2013. It condicucts extensive research and development in fish nutrition and feed technology through EWOS Innovation in Norway and Chile.