Nutreco-backed land-based salmon farmer Nordic Aqua Partners is planning to accelerate expansion plans for its 20,000-metric-ton facility in eastern China.

Confidence is high following the strong biological performance of the company's first batch of salmon at its facility in Ningbo, with fish reaching an average weight of 400 grams by mid-May 2023, according to Nordic Aqua Partners' first quarter report.

Construction of the first stage with a capacity of 4,000 metric tons began in the first quarter of 2021, with the first harvest expected in the first quarter of 2024.

Construction of stage two -- a further 4,000 metric tons -- was originally scheduled for the second quarter of 2024, but with new capital in place from a recent private placement, construction could begin in the fourth quarter of 2023, with first harvest expected in the fourth quarter of 2025.

"We have made excellent strides during the first quarter," Chairman Ragnar Joensen said. "All batches performed biologically as expected or even better, with high survival and good growth rates."

Plans are in motion to potentially accelerate expansion to reach a capacity of 20,000 metric tons by 2027, according to the report.

The company, having shifted its headquarters from Denmark to Norway to improve access to capital, ended the first quarter with liquidity of DKK 439 million (€60 million/$64 million).

Earlier this year, the company raised NOK 300 million (€27.1 million/$29.1 million) to accelerate its plans and double production capacity.

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