Aker & SalMar to create world leading offshore aquaculture operations

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By Milthon Lujan

Oslo, Norway – Aker ASA has entered into a strategic partnership with SalMar ASA to establish a global offshore aquaculture company, a news release said.

The new joint company, SalMar Aker Ocean AS, will operate within offshore fish farming, including offshore and semi-offshore, combining Aker and SalMar’s industry experience, leading competence in salmon production, software, and cleantech to create the world’s most reliable and intelligent offshore farming operations with the highest requirements for fish welfare and a zero-emissions value chain ambition.

“The aquaculture industry is at the cusp of a new, more sustainable era, opening up for a new resource base and with green production,” said Øyvind Eriksen, President and CEO of Aker.

“The new company combines Aker’s leading industrial track record within offshore operations with SalMar’s history as one of the world’s largest and most efficient producers of farmed salmon. We also share a vision for the potential of software, data, and analytics, and we believe we can join forces to make the next step to develop ocean farming, including using technology and joint industrial capabilities to protect ocean health, fish welfare and promote sustainable growth.”

SalMar and Aker will eventually own 66.6 per cent and 33.4 per cent, respectively, of the joint company, SalMar Aker Ocean, which will comprise SalMar’s interests in its semi-offshore and offshore farming operations.

Aker will contribute up to NOK 1.65 billion cash in three tranches. The company will continue the ongoing work within testing, learning, researching, and developing offshore farming operations, including through the world’s first operating offshore fish farm, Ocean Farm 1; and the technology of the innovative Smart Fish Farms to be positioned in offshore Norwegian waters, and eventually internationally.

Norway is currently at the forefront in developing this technology and industry world-wide. Ocean Farm 1 and Smart Fish Farm have both been developed with a unique interdisciplinary partnership between SalMar – building on more than 30 years of experience – and world-leading players in Norway within offshore aquaculture, offshore and R&D.

Olav Andreas Ervik will head the company as CEO and the board will consist of six members, including Gustav Witzøe, Atle Eide, Kjell Inge Røkke and Øyvind Eriksen.

“SalMar’s focus on the open ocean marked the start of a new era in the seafood industry. We are very pleased to be partnering with a strong industry partner like Aker. Together, we will be at the forefront of ensuring sustainable growth on the salmon’s terms, utilizing the potential of the ocean to produce healthier food, deploying digital technologies, cleantech, and using superior supplier industry capabilities at a critical time for ensuring sustainable food production in the long-term. Together, we can take the next technological leap for offshore farming, with a global ambition” said Gustav Witzøe, CEO of SalMar.

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