Salmon farming giant Mowi has inked a deal with equipment supplier Akva for a new net system aimed at fortifying operations against escapes and sea lice.

The deal, worth NOK 100 million (€8.7 million/$9.4 million), will put "tubenet" systems across seven different Mowi sites, including one site in Scotland.

The system -- which Akva describes as essentially a "cage within a cage" -- forces salmon lower into the water column, below what is dubbed the "sealice belt," making the fish less susceptible to the parasites.

The concept was first developed in 2012 through Akva subsidiary Egersund Net.

Sealice, which is a predominant challenge in the aquaculture industry, tend to be active in the first 10 meters of the water column.

Akva's most recent trial, at Eide Fjordbruk farms in Western Norway, showed a 90 percent reduction in sealice, results that Akva now hopes will convert companies on the fence about the technology.

Akva first began testing its tubenets in 2014 in conjunction with the Institute of Marine Research and Bremnes Seashore. Encouraged by those results, the company began taking the concept to salmon farming companies in Norway. Mowi is among the other companies using the technology.

Akva recently reported strong full-year financial results as it doubled order intakes and signed significant contracts in 2019.

The group's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) jumped 14 percent year-on-year to NOK 272 million (€24 million/$26.3 million).

Akva's order back log grew to a record high of NOK 2.3 billion (€204 million/$223 million) at the end of the year. However, as the fourth quarter results revealed, the company's project execution capabilities have not been at the highest standards.

Cooke Chile recently cancelled its contract with Akva to supply a land-based salmon hatchery in Chile as coronavirus takes a heavy toll on the sector.

The project was expected to be completed between the first quarter of this year and the fourth quarter of 2021.

In 2019, Akva also entered a sale and purchase contract for four feed barges with Chile-based Australis Mar, the grow-out, processing and sales arm of Chile's Australis Seafoods.