Lovundselskapet Utror will have the role of operator in offshore aquaculture

Lovundselskapet Utror will have the role of operator in offshore aquaculture

– We have to think big.

The Lovundlaks-owned company Utror wants to take on the role of operator in Trænabanken, and wants to imagine a piece of the big pie that can reach three million tons of salmon in 2050. This was told by the general manager of Utror, ​​Olaf. Andreas Ervik at today’s Lofoten symposium.

Olaf Andreas Ervik tells iLaks that they now have to think big and industrial at sea.

– It is very important to think about the industrial scale from day one. If we want to develop the entire value chain, the infrastructure, we can’t think in simple units. Marine aquaculture gives us a unique opportunity to start with a blank slate and build a value chain and the right infrastructure that will enable us to produce quality biological products on a large scale. This differs from traditional value chains and with very different assumptions, not least from a technological standpoint, Ervik says.

Think risk
It applies not only to offshore facilities, he adds, but also to how they operate and how the value chain is designed.

– It is related to the entire value chain, such as the shipment of fish and feed. We have to think more based on risks. If we want to bring in the shipyard and supplier industry, we must think big and industrial and make a comprehensive development and operation plan, he thought, and explained a little bit about the great potential off the coast of Helgeland.

– We have focused, after all, on Trænabanken, which we believe may have potential between 500,000t and 1mt. Our ambition is primarily to acquire operator responsibility in a larger area where we can plan a profitable operation on an industrial scale that protects good biosecurity, health, safety and the environment, he says.

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– But the most important thing for us is to become an agent who takes responsibility for the development of a region. There may be many actors in the same area, but the model with operation is very important to ensure good biosecurity and accountability. That way, the authorities can claim us, as they do with regard to offshore oil and gas.

This is how Otror has conceived of the Variations from 1972, right up to Exit in Tranabanken. Lovundlaks’s photo.

At sea early 2027
Outroar is at an early stage and is now working mostly on the concept’s regulatory and operational requirements. The plan is to start production in Tranabanken in early 2027. An important clarification to be made soon is the introduction of a tax on land rent on marine aquaculture.

– Basic interest tax is important to us. When we demand it now, it guarantees the predictability of planned investments. There is also recognition that, over time, offshore aquaculture will become a profitable industry that will be able to compete with coastal aquaculture. The tax will come anyway on the day it will be profitable. Here we see a light at the end of the tunnel since the government has been tasked with investigating this in more detail, says Irvik, who believes that the authorities have so far done a good job of engaging the actors.

– We are in the initial stage of concept development. These days we are in dialogue with potential partners to develop the concept. Here we are talking about a technology that combines expertise from oil and gas and traditional aquaculture. We will be ready in 2024 when the authorities finalize the terms of the regulatory framework, says Utror’s general manager.

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How much do you care about what other people plan?

– No one has gone to sea, but many are working on it, and we are working closely with them. Especially on the organizational side. Much of what has been done through development concessions is public, Ervik says, so we’re clearly learning lessons from the projects that have been done.

milestone at the beginning of the year
For us out there, upfront commitment will be crucial going forward. According to the plan, he will come at the turn of the year, and he will be the first teacher, he continues.

How much capital is available?

– We have the capital to pay advance commitments. Then we believe that pre-commitment and the introduction of land rent tax, also for aquaculture abroad, will be crucial in order to attract more investors with us.

Who are the relevant investors in Utror?

– Lovundlaks, as the main shareholder of Utror, ​​naturally wants to join this for the foreseeable future. At the same time, it is so capital intensive that we have to attract investors when we plan offshore aquaculture on an industrial scale. It can be both industrial and financial, we haven’t decided yet.

Ervik concludes by explaining that the most important thing now is to ensure predictable and stable framework conditions through the introduction of a neutral land lease tax so that we can be successful in realizing offshore aquaculture in Norway.

Olaf Andreas Ervik, Outer. (Photo: Steve Hearns).
Hanisi Anenih

Hanisi Anenih

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