AquaGen invests $17.5 million in land-based broodstock facility
The company signed a contract with Artec Aqua as a turnkey contractor for the expansion of Profunda, a land-based facility for the production of salmon broodstock in Norway.
AquaGen signed a NOK 150 million ($17.5 million) contract with Artec Aqua as a turnkey contractor for the expansion of Profunda, a land-based facility for the production of salmon broodstock in Barstadvik, Norway.
The facility has been producing salmon from smolt of 100 g to broodstock of 12-15 kg. With the new expansion, Profunda will be a full-cycle facility for the production of land-based eggs, meaning that the fish will have their entire life cycle in the facility. The facility will have a capacity to deliver between 80 and 100 million eggs per year.
Profunda has produced salmon broodstock since 2010 without any infectious disease or pathogenic viruses detected. “The facility in Barstadvik utilizes the geological features of the area, with deposits of silt, sand and gravel that have built up over the last 15,000 years, since the last ice age,” said Frode Sætre, operations manager at Profunda. Thus, the site has access to both marine and fresh groundwater extracted from deep wells in the ground. This gives Profunda a very high level of biosecurity and gives AquaGen a unique opportunity to deliver guaranteed and documented pathogen-free eggs to Norwegian and international salmon farmers. Land-based broodstock production provides full control of the environmental conditions and ensures all year delivery of eggs.
Genetics for the future
AquaGen acquired Profunda in 2017 and completed the first expansion phase with a new grow-out department in 2018, which quadrupled its capacity for broodstock production. Since then, three generations of the breeding nucleus have been transferred to the site, which ensures the best genetic quality of the eggs to be delivered from Profunda. The latest expansion, to be completed during the spring of 2022, will complete the strategy behind the acquisition.
The first families in the breeding program were established in 1971, and, in 2021, AquaGen will celebrate the 50th anniversary since the onset of the first scientific breeding program for salmon. The expansion at Profunda marks the start of the anniversary and at the same time a shift for the breeding program towards delivering the best performing genetics to the land-based as well as the sea-based salmon industry.