Salmon byproducts paying off for Norwegian processors

Well, not all of them. Hofseth Biocare, which is targeting the nutraceutical market, is hemorrhaging money.

Nearly all the major salmon producers have separate or associated companies that process offcuts and byproducts for oil and meal, and it's leading to an entirely new revenue stream.

Norwegian salmon producer Nordlaks has its own “biotech factory” in the same building as the slaughter plant outside Stokmarknes in Nordland County.

Roger Mosand, managing director of Nordlaks Produkter, says they are turning a profit.

“We have invested a fair amount to get where we are today, but thanks to current agreements the operation is a profitable one,” he said.

Mosand declined to give any hint on size of margins for the activity.

A few yards away from Salmar’s slaughter plant Innovamar at Froya, is Nutrimar, a company owned 100 percent by Witzoe’s investment firm Kverva. Nutrimar produces and sells salmon oil and protein meal from offcuts that are sent via pipe systems from Salmar.

Official accounting figures show that sales in this company the last three years have swung between NOK 93 million (€9.9 million/$11.9 million) and NOK 122 million (€13 million/$15.6 million), while operating profit has ended up at NOK 24 million (€2.6 million/$3.1 million) to NOK 29 million (€3.1 million/$3.7 million).

Selling to animal feed producers

Vital Rorvik, another byproduct producer, is owned 51 percent by Norwegian Sjomat, while Sinkaberg-Hansen, Emilsen Fisk and Midt Norsk Havbruk have 16.25 percent each. In 2016 they achieved sales totaling NOK 50.2 million (€5.4 million/$6.4 million) and earned operating profit of NOK 13.2 million (€1.4 million/$1.7 million).

“We pack some of the offcuts, and sell the rest to Vital Rorvik, which produces animal feed,” Skinkaberg-Hansen Deputy Chairman Svein-Gustav Sinkaberg told IntraFish.

Skinkaberg-Hansen at one point was planning on partnering with another byproduct group, Hofseth Biocare, on a factory in Rorvik, Norway, but the latter company's financial woes have gotten in the way, Skinkaberg said.

Hofseth Biocare has lost close to half a billion kroner over the past six years.

“There has -- as you know -- been challenges with Hofseth Biocare’s technology, but the agreement is still in place, so we’ll see what the future brings," Skinkaberg said. "We think what Hofseth Biocare is engaged in is motivating, and we are very interested in exploiting resources in the best possible manner. We are more than happy to discuss this further should the occasion arise."

The salmon byproducts making their way into feed, by Norwegian law, cannot be used in salmon feed production, so head into feed for other species.

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