Farmed salmon byproducts company Biomega's quest to reach more customers is getting closer with an upgrade of its current manufacturing plant outside Bergen, Norway earlier this summer and a forthcoming facility in Hirtshals, Denmark.

The investments will boost the company’s production capacity and the Danish facility will act as a missing link in the gateway into Europe for the company's new salmon peptide business, which it plans to launch this year, CEO Stig Victor Petersen told IntraFish.

Peptides can help faster recovery from illnesses and tissue repair, and the company is keen to enter the fast-growing health and nutrition sector, where it can leverage its massive potential raw material supply.

Around 25 - 27 percent of the 1.5 million metric tons Norwegian salmon produced every year end up as offcuts, Petersen said, and the company hopes to extract more value from it.

“A big part of high-quality food does not end up to human consumption, and it doesn’t make sense in a situation where we all are obliged to improve utilization of sustainable food solutions,” he said.

Biomega wants to transition into the food sector as a premium food ingredient processor, and the company can also offer benefits in the sports and nutrition field.

Full speed ahead with new partnerships

Across the globe, consumers are increasingly seeking improved health products and sustainable choices, putting Biomega in a strong position to take advantage of the circular economy.

Management has a significant job, however, in educating consumers about its efforts to upcycle byproducts into food for human consumption.

The pace is high at Biomega, Petersen said. In the coming 18 to 24 months, the company will develop as much as it has during the last decade, he said.

"We are however still a small entrepreneurial company, and we need to learn to walk before we can run," he said.

Balancing CAPEX with future growth is always a challenge for a company of this size, Petersen said.

Earlier, Biomega signed a licensing agreement with Norwegian Norilia-owned Bioco. Bioco's biorefinery plant extracts protein from chicken and turkey off-cuts for use in food and petfood.

Biomega is open for similar agreements with other groups, Petersen said.

Next chapter

The New York-based agribusiness asset manager Amerra, which counts bass and bream giant Avramar in its portfolio, acquired Biomega in 2017. Amerra has not established an exit date, though it has internal targets for revenues and earnings ahead of an exit, Petersen said.

Management also needs to deliver on certain goals: the new Hirtshals factory, the transition into the food sector, as well as proving its partnership with land-based salmon farmer Swedish Quality Salmon, which was signed this year.

Petersen came in as CEO last year and Espen Aarstad was appointed CFO earlier this year.