Norwegian land-based salmon producer Salmon Evolution is still on track for first commercial harvest in the fourth quarter this year with growth about 20 percent ahead of plan already, the company noted in its second quarter results.

But “lower productivity on the construction site” has seen the final completion date slip to 2023 with capital expenditure (CAPEX) of about NOK 1.5 billion (€150 million/$150 million) now expected, compared to earlier estimate of NOK 1.4 billion (€140 million/$140 million), the company said.

Following a 100,000 smolt release in March, fish had reached an average weight of around 1.5 kg by the end of June. The fish now have an average weight of around 2.3 kg. Last month, Salmon Evolution successfully completed its second smolt release at its

Indre Haroy facility, comprising about 230,000 smolt with an average weight of 125 grams.

With phase 1 now nearing completion and remaining construction work focused on piping, equipment installation and system integration, the capex intensity is expected to come significantly down over the coming months.

The company also used the results to announce an agreement for harvest services with Vikenco, one of the leading salmon processors in Norway.

Vikenco is located only 10 km from Indre Harøy, facilitating cost effective logistics, and allowing the salmon producer to benefit from industry scale slaughter costs, rather than building internal slaughter capacity.

At the beginning of the second quarter Salmon Evolution announced it had raised another NOK 300 million (€30 million/$30 million) (€30.5 million/$30.8 million) capital from a private placement to back expansion plans and to fund the second phase of its Indre Haroy facility.

The land-based salmon producer, whose backers include Korean giant Dongwon and Cargill, announced in June that it is planning to expand into North America and raise its production capacity target to 100,000 metric tons by 2032.