Nutreco-backed land-based salmon farmer Nordic Aqua Partners said new calculations show the group could make operating margins of as much as NOK 149/kg (€15.13/$15.18) from salmon grown at its Ningbo, China facility.

Nordic Aqua said wholesale prices in China in the second quarter averaged NOK 200/kg (€20.30/$20.37) for head-on gutted (HOG) fish.

Meanwhile, the group has budgeted earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) per kg cost of 51 NOK ($5.20/€5.18) when its farm becomes operational, implying the margin would reach the NOK 149 per kilogram level.

The margin would be NOK 103/kg (€10.46/$10.49) more than the current price of salmon delivered in Oslo.

Nordic Aqua Partners is on track to harvest its first salmon at its facility in Ningbo, China in the first quarter of 2024, it said in its second quarter update.

The first placement of eggs took place in March, and the second in early June.

Originally, Nordic Aqua Partners was planning to harvest 8,000 metric tons in the country by 2026. The company has since said it was “upscaling” this business plan to 20,000 metric tons. The project's first stage will have an annual production capacity of 4,000 metric tons.

Total capital expenditure during the second quarter was DKK 56 million (€7.3 million/$7.3 million), mainly related to the purchase of Akva Group recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) technology.

As of June 30, accumulated capital expenditures for the project was DKK 188 million (€24.4 million/$24.4 million). The company has available liquidity of DKK 428 million (€55.6 million/$55.6 million).