Leroy Seafood to invest €160 million into Norway, Netherlands operations

Three major investments are on the agenda for Norwegian salmon producer Leroy.

Oslo-listed Leroy Seafood Group is ramping up its investments: overall it will plow NOK 1.5 billion (€159.6 million/$176.4 million) into is Norwegian and Dutch operations.

While the group's main focus is on the fight against salmon lice, as well as other challenges faced by the industry, work is also going into securing its future through multiple investments.

In his presentation of the first quarterly results last week, Leroy CEO Henning Beltestad gave a rundown of the main investments the group will be making in the time ahead.

“We’re making significant investments across the board," Beltestad said. "We have to be more efficient, and we are preparing for a different kind of future.”

The three investments mentioned specifically are a new processing plant for Leroy Midt, a new factory in Urk, The Netherlands, and a new smolt production facility for Leroy Sjotroll.

Beltestad said the group’s sights have always been fixed on increasing production, on achieving an efficient value chain and ensuring end-customers receive appealing, good-quality products.

With that in mind the board of directors gave its approval for the projects.

New processing plant for Leroy Midt

“With Leroy Midt we are investing NOK 650 million (€69.1 million/$76.4 million) in the new slaughter and VAP [value-added processing] plant, which will replace two old plants," Beltestad said.

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"The objective is a highly efficient plant producing better quality products. We’re looking forward to the construction being completed around May 2018. So far, all has gone according to plan."

The building will have a surface area of around 10,000 square meters, of which 6,000 square meters is factory space, while 4,000 square meters are dedicated to administration and offices.

Dutch expansion

In addition, the group is investing NOK 200 million (€21.3 million/$23.5 million) into a new plant in Urk, The Netherlands, through its subsidiary Rodé Vis.

“This will be a state-of-the-art plant, where we will produce fresh and smoked products ready for retail sale in The Netherlands and neighboring countries," Beltestad said during the quarterly presentation.

"The center is scheduled for completion at the close of 2017, with production kicking off at full capacity from January 2018."

Larger smolt at Sjotroll

The third major investment is a new smolt facility producing large smolt at Kjaerelva in Hordaland county, Norway.

“This is a project where we will see the first results in a few years’ time," Beltestad said, adding the investment will come to NOK 650 million (€69.1 million/$76.4 million). 

"The first eggs will be placed in the facility in 2018, but full construction of the facility will not be completed until the second quarter of 2019,” said Beltestad.

Leroy plans to supply the first smolt from the hatchery in 2019, however, the first full year of production won't be until 2020. In 2021, the hatchery will be fully operative.

It will have the capacity to produce 12 million smolt annually, weighing up to 500 grams each.

"This will enhance future production significantly, and ensure we are well equipped to meet whatever the future holds,” Beltestad said.

Other smaller investments are also underway, including extending Norskott’s smolt production capacity in Scotland. Norskott is owned by Leroy Seafood and SalMar, with a 50 percent stake each.

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