Nutreco announced a co-investment in Norwegian land-based salmon farming company, AquaCon. The investment round saw AquaCon raise a total of $7.5 million and included participation from Israel Corporation and AKVA Group ASA.
Strategically located in Maryland on the East Coast of the U.S., AquaCon’s Atlantic salmon farming facilities will be in close proximity to over 70 million consumers based in New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington D.C. With production close to the consumer, land-based salmon farming reduces the CO2 footprint from transportation such as airfreight and secures high-quality fresh salmon for the consumer. Since 2019, Nutreco has invested in five other land-based aquaculture projects as it believes that this is one of many protein production methods that we will need to help feed the almost 10 billion people on the planet in 2050.
Nutreco’s chief innovation office, Viggo Halseth, said, “our investment in AquaCon is perfectly aligned with our purpose of Feeding the Future. If we want to achieve this purpose and feed a rapidly growing population, we need to not only invest in alternative protein production methods but work with the right partners. AquaCon has a strong team of industry professionals with in-depth experience from the Norwegian salmon farming industry, including land-based smolt and grow-out facilities. Alongside Nutreco’s expertise and Skretting’s competence in developing customized aqua feed for land-based aquaculture farming, we believe this will be a strong partnership.”
Henrik Tangen, executive chair, said that “since late 2019, the AquaCon team has worked to develop a business plan for land-based RAS facilities on Eastern Shore Maryland (USA). We are very pleased to have Nutreco, together with Israel Corporation and AKVA Group, as cornerstone investors to prepare the company for the next step of development. Proceeds will be used to land and detail engineering with construction starting in Q1 2022.”
“The team has more than 60 years of combined salmon RAS experience including design, construction and operation of more than 75 facilities across the world. Our RAS facilities will have a strong and robust ESG profile meeting key environmental standards in the foreseeable future. The ESG profile combined with 100% product traceability will position AquaCon’s salmon product, fillets and portions, as premium locally produced products,” Tangen concluded.