Grieg Seafood Rogaland has announced that it will put on hold its offshore project Blu Farm, following the government’s proposal for land rent tax.
The concept, which has an investment framework of NOK 750 million, was to build on world-leading offshore expertise in Rogaland. Also, further develop technology from the petroleum industry toward future sustainable aquaculture at sea.
Thereby, the project is based on the award of 4.5 development licenses, which will reduce the risk of developing such an uncertain technology.
Regarding this, Nina Willumsen Grieg, regional director of Grieg Seafood Rogaland said: “Sustainable aquaculture at sea offers great opportunities for Rogaland and Norway. With Blu Farm, we have wanted to help develop the industry in this direction. But it will require a lot of capital and has a very high risk. The development concessions have provided important risk relief for carrying out this type of uncertain project. With the ground rent proposal, the development concessions will be less valuable. We will also have less capital left in the company for investment and development. That is why Blue Farm is now unfortunately put on hold.”
Blu Farm concept
The Blu Farm concept is a tension-anchored concrete cage. It is based on well-known technology in the field of oil and gas. The project has so far been in the planning phase. There has been an estimated construction time of approx. 2 years after the planning has been completed.
“There are many challenges to solve in the aquaculture industry. The development concessions have meant that many innovations in open, semi-closed, closed, and offshore farming technology could be tested. If the current proposal for ground rent tax remains in place, unfortunately, many of these projects will not be carried out. It’s a shame for everyone who wants sustainable development in the aquaculture industry,” added Willumsen Grieg.
Closed technology also put on hold
Grieg Seafood Rogaland was ready this autumn to start developing closed aquaculture technology at sea. Together with FishGLOBE, the company was to develop a large food fish version of the closed FishGLOBE facility which currently produces post-smolt (smaller fish). The project was put on hold in October, as development concessions were also the basis for the investment here.
Willing to contribute more
Over the past 10 years, Grieg Seafood has reinvested three times as much as the company has paid out in dividends, as the company sees great opportunities for development in its local communities.
“We understand that these are challenging times in Europe and Norway. We must contribute more and pay more in taxes than today. But it should happen in a way that does not compromise investments, activity in the rural areas, and Norway’s position and potential as a world-leading producer of food from the sea. Industry and politicians should work together to find a solution that takes care of these considerations better than the current proposal,” she emphasized.