Tytlandsvik Aqua builds facility for large smolt
Tytlandsvik Aqua recently signed a contract with Aquatec Solutions AS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of AKVA group ASA, to build two facilities for the production of large smolt. The overall tank volume will be in excess of 15,000 m3, and production capacity is 3,000 tons per year.
The company owns a large site and is also planning further development that has the potential of increasing the annual production capacity to a huge 9,000 tons. Aquaculture giants Grieg Seafood and Bremnes Seashore are also part of the effort.
“These types of projects involving the production of large smolt are extremely important contributions to generate much-needed development of the Norwegian aquaculture industry,” says Nils Viga, general manager of Tytlandsvik Aqua. “We are currently witnessing a politically-controlled deceleration of developments in traditional aquaculture in most regions of the country. Larger smolt with natural sea lice protection in the form of a well-developed mucous layer and shorter generation time have been an important success factor for the aquaculture industry in the Faeroe Islands. Here the Faeroe Islands have advanced developments, and we in Norway are now joining the party.”
“This is an innovative and aggressive effort that means we at Tytlandsvik Aqua are taking significant risk in that the industry's framework for development to a great extent is controlled by biology and politics. It's difficult to predict the future of an industry that is developing so rapidly, but we are nevertheless certain that a very important part of the solution for sustainable growth will be to move a larger share of production onto land in a controlled environment. The many unanswered questions also entail that we need to make extra investments in order to achieve flexibility. Time will show if the smolt is 500 grammes, 1500 grammes or even larger. The key thing for us is to ensure that we don't make choices that limit our options in the future. One of the measures we have taken is to employ technology that reduces consumption of raw water to an absolute minimum. This minimizes the environmental footprint of the facility while also expanding our future ability to act.”
“The facility has been designed with our unique Zero Water Change technology,” says Jesper Lund, senior sales manager of Aquatec Solutions. “In addition to more traditional recycling technology, further steps are included in water treatment that remove nitrate and phosphorous from the water. In practice this results in water consumption being a huge 90% lower than in a regular recycling facility, which in fact already reuses 99% of the water. The entire facility can be operated with a fresh water supply of 250 litres per minute. This means that water consumption becomes so low that one can theoretically establish the facilities almost anywhere. This opens up a lot of options for the aquaculture industry in Norway, where the facilities have often been established in suboptimal locations in order to have access to enough water. In our view, however, the greatest benefit with the ZWC technology is that it allows for full sterilization of the raw water that is added to the facility. Today a smolt facility manages enormous values, and it's extremely important that we do everything in our power to maintain biosecurity.”
Massive interest in post-smolt
“At the moment there is huge interest in facilities for the production of large smolt in the market” says Ole Gabriel Kverneland, Sales Manager for land-based products with AKVA group ASA. “The aquaculture industry is undoubtedly leaning in the direction of moving greater parts of the value chain to shore by increasing the size of smolt before being deployed in the sea. A lot of our customers have already conducted extensive trials on the production of large, seawater-adapted smolt, and this has yielded excellent results both on land and at sea. The Faeroe Islands have been at the forefront in production of large smolt, and results there have clearly shown increased profitability for the industry as a whole. Interest has only increased after trials indicating that land-based production of post-smolt in recycled seawater can lead to less infection by sea lice in addition to lower mortality and faster growth. Everything indicates that large smolt will be a key tool in the struggle against sea lice going forward. Although we have come a long way and can show that the production of post-smolt increases profitability for our customers, we believe there are great opportunities to further optimise production if we adapt technology to biology rather than the other way round. A very exiting aspect of this development is that the post-smolt is produced under so-called isosmotic conditions and where there is great emphasis on technological solutions to prevent the fish from being stressed. The preliminary results of these developments are particularly promising with regard to the fish's growth and survival both on land and after deployment in the sea,” Ole Gabriel concludes.