Despite some hiccups in the first three months of the year, land-based salmon group Proximar Seafood said it's on track to deliver fish to market by late next year through its Japanese distribution partner Marubeni.

"During the last few months we have started up three departments -- hatchery, first feeding and nursery -- and as expected there are always some issues in conjunction with starting up," Proximar Seafood CEO Joachim Nielsen told IntraFish.

The "fine tuning" of operations has gone well, he added, with good water quality and systems functioning as designed.

During the first quarter of the year, the Oslo-listed company increased its operating expenses to NOK 9 million (€774,000/$841,000) from NOK 4 million (€344,000/$374,000) during the same period last year.

During the third quarter of 2023, the company signed a JPY 8.8 billion (€58 million/$54 million) loan agreement with a Japanese bank syndicate. It was Japan's first blue sustainability loan, according to the company.

A combination of new equity and a shareholder loan from Norway's Grieg Kapital provided Proximar with NOK 180 million (€15 million/$17 million), which will be used on the first phase of the company's facility in Oyama, Japan, which is now fully funded.

Proximar expects to be profitable with a production of about 2,000 metric tons of salmon.

At the targeted long-term harvest level of 5,300 metric tons per year, Proximar expects an EBIT cost of NOK 58 (€4.9/$5.4) per kilo, according to its first quarter results.

During the last few months, the company has increased its activities around sales preparations, and has done several site visits with large potential buyers through Japan-based industrial group Marubeni.

Marubeni will take delivery of all of the first phase of Proximar's production for 10 years.

The company's first batch of juveniles was placed into a hatchery in October. The first feeding started in January, and the fish were transferred to a nursery in March.

The first harvest is scheduled for the third quarter of next year.

Proximar aims to complete the construction of the facility during the third quarter this year. Currently, installation of production tanks and concrete floors are taking shape in the growout facility.

Capital expenditure costs are up NOK 35 million (€3 million/$3.3 million) since its report last year. About half of that is due to currency effects.

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