Grieg, OCI formally ink agreement for Canadian salmon farming project
By Undercurrent News Jan. 16, 2018
Norway’s Grieg Group and Canadian firm Ocean Choice International (OCI) have formalized their ownership agreement for a planned salmon farming and processing project off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.
The project will bring economic benefits of CAD 250 million ($201m) to the region, the companies said in a press release.
"The agreement marries the Grieg Group’s extensive experience in the salmon industry with OCI’s leading expertise in seafood processing and marketing, and marks the continued long-term commitment and cooperation of the two family owned companies to develop the Placentia Bay Aquaculture Project," the release stated.
On July 22, 2016, the government of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador released the Grieg NL Nurseries Ltd. and Grieg NL Seafarms project from environmental assessment, under some conditions.
Only triploid Atlantic salmon can be used, with the government requiring an annual progress report regarding the phased approach from using mixed sex triploids to the use of all female triploids.
However, nearly a year later Canadian NGO the Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) succeeded in its attempt to require the government of Newfoundland to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) on the project.
A judge upheld the appeal ASF and private citizen Owen Myers filed with the Newfoundland supreme court, which contested the provincial minister of environment's decision to allow Grieg NL to move forward without completing an EIS.
Per Grieg Jr.'s Grieg Group, which also owns the majority of Norway-based Grieg Seafood, and OCI, which is a fishing and processing company, are planning to construct and operate a land-based recirculation aquaculture system hatchery for Atlantic salmon in Marystown and 11 farms in Placentia Bay.
The land-based hatchery will produce up to seven million triploid smolt annually, which will be sold to salmonid aquaculture farms in the province and will be developed on approximately ten hectares of serviced land.
Each of the 11 marine-based farms will consist of multiple cages with cage collars at the surface and nets extending down to 43 meters.
At a conference last June, Blaine Sullivan, chief operating officer of OCI, said his company and Grieg have a proposed partnership in place that would see the salmon processed in St. Lawrence.
“We’re happy to work with Grieg in our area, and I think if the project succeeds, it’ll certainly be a saviour for the St. Lawrence plant,” said Sullivan.
CAD $250m project
When Grieg and OCI announced the project, in October last year, they said it will cost approximately CAD 250 million, of which up to CAD 45m will be invested by the provincial government, in exchange for preferred shares.
At the time, the companies said the production from the planned 11 cage sites could be as much as 33,000 metric tons of salmon a year.
Sales and processing should start in 2018, with 100% of the production to be processed in Newfoundland and Labrador.
In July 2015, Undercurrent News reported that Grieg was launching a salmon farming company in eastern Canada. The operation will run as a separate entity to the Norwegian salmon farming firm, Grieg Seafood’s CEO Andreas Kvame told Undercurrent at the time.