Key points – Nordic Aquafarms in Belfast, Maine
- Production of fresh seafood close to consumers in NE USA.
- Production takes place in protected systems, using tools like a high quality custom conveyor belt, indoors in tanks (with RAS – recirculating aquaculture systems).
- Traceability with process from egg to fish out the door in one location.
- The farm in Belfast will be delivered by one of the most experienced RAS companies in the world – Nordic Aquafarms – that already has three farms in operation.
- Proven strong environmental profile with best in class technologies.
- The largest seafood investment and a major seafood employer in Maine when in operation. Wide economic development benefits for Maine.
- Proven high quality products will be branded with Maine origin.
What is the opportunity?
An opportunity for Belfast and Maine to take a big step forward as an aquaculture producing state. With land-based fish farming technology, Maine can grow this industry with a strong sustainability profile while they also use the best business automation processes to make everything even more effective. The project in Belfast will further strengthen Maine´s position as a premier salmon producing state, currently limited to a few net pens.
The Nordic Aquafarms opportunity in Belfast, Maine involves a 500 million USD investment, making it one of the largest investment projects in Maine.
With COVID 19 heavily impacting the economy in Maine and the US, investment and jobs are more important than ever. This is an opportunity to secure a large investment – a green investment providing high-quality food to Americans.
Why is this salmon farm important for the US, Maine, and Belfast?
- The US has a large and growing seafood deficit. Domestic wild catch and production is not close to meeting demand. Domestic production is a food security issue.
- Local production with a chain of custody and traceability helps educate consumers about where its seafood originates.
- The Co2 footprint per pound salmon in Belfast will be less than half of fresh wild salmon airfreighted from Alaska or other countries to the US East Coast – the primary sources of salmon in the US.
- Processing and value-added in the US – a significant portion of US seafood is exported for processing and then reimported.
- US authorities recommend seafood as an important part of Americans´ diet for health purposes. The US has a low seafood consumption per capita compared to many western countries. Salmon is a high-growth product in the US.
- With new sustainable production companies, Maine can leverage its strong seafood reputation to achieve growth.
- The Belfast operation will drive industry value chain development, and thus also overall infrastructure and industry growth. The result will be a more attractive state for seafood companies to invest in.
- For Belfast, there is the benefit of investment and jobs, and it will be the home of a new generation of sustainable seafood production. Nordic Aquafarms is a high-profile company internationally that has put Belfast on the industry map.
- An opportunity for Maine and Belfast to demonstrate the highest sustainability standards in the international aquaculture industry.
Benefits of Nordic Aquafarms solutions
- All production occurs indoors with little noise, smell, or impact to surrounding environment. Unlike other forms of aquaculture, we do not place our production in public waters – it is on private property.
- The fish are grown in a protected environment, thus greatly reducing exposure to parasites, disease, or other risks in the ocean. The fish welfare benefits are strong.
- The facility is designed to eliminate escape risk and co-mingling with wild species.
- The facility uses mostly seawater, thus reducing the need for larger volumes of freshwater. Water is recirculated and treated which means overall water use is greatly reduced compared to other approaches.
- Nordic Aquafarms treatment of residual discharge is designed to meet the strictest discharge standards. 99 percent of most nutrients and particles are filtered out and recycled down-stream. 85 percent of nitrogen is also removed. These metrics are the best in the industry. Traditional aquaculture releases all particles and nutrients to receiving waters and can spread parasites and disease.
- Modern salmon aquaculture in the Northern hemisphere has almost eliminated antibiotics use. Our farms do not use antibiotics.
- Unlike most RAS companies who rely on vendors, Nordic Aquafarms has its own experienced team of experienced RAS designers and engineers. That means an experienced, agile, and quality focused approach that combines production and design experience under one roof to achieve seamless solutions.
Benefits of this investment for Maine and Belfast
- One of the largest capital investments in Maine, and the largest in Waldo county.
- 5 percent of US salmon consumption on 35 acres private property.
- Funds to upgrade the aging Belfast water infrastructure as a result of deal with the Belfast Water District.
- Significant tax revenue flow in the future for Belfast – assessed by city counselors to be greater than the next 100 Belfast companies combined.
- 170 direct new jobs in Maine – all FTEs with competitive pay and benefits.
- Millions of USD already spent in Maine, and 10 people already employed.
- Many construction jobs in Maine for years to come, including from Maine companies.
- Likely more business for local Belfast companies – ranging from restaurants to other services.
- Sales and growth opportunities for various suppliers in Maine.
- Many indirect job effects up- and down-stream in the value chain over time.
- Work force development programs in aquaculture – NAF will be working with academic institutions and other organizations.
- Opportunity to pursue commercial-scale research for academic institutions.
- Opportunity to strengthen Maine as a destination for seafood investment – throughout the value chain.
- Added visibility of the Maine seafood origin brand with new high-quality products.
- A success story for Maine in the big-league aquaculture industry – and an opportunity to further bolster its marketing of Maine as a place to invest.
About the product
- Nordic Aquafarms does not use antibiotics in its farms.
- In feed, the standard is GMO avoidance.
- Growth hormones are not used in Salmon aquaculture.
- Use of natural antioxidants from which salmon also gets is delicate color.
- Quality standards and experienced staff result in excellent fish welfare.
- The salmon is harvested and processed on location resulting in high quality and freshness benefits.
- Our salmon farming practice is certified by the international Global GAP program and is subject to independent sustainability audits.
- Salmon aquaculture feeds minimize fish products in feed mix and have replaced them with plant-based proteins and agriculture by-products.
Who is Nordic Aquafarms?
- Founded by an American citizen – Erik Heim – in 2014 in Norway.
- A company backed by some of Norway´s most reputable investors, with likely addition of US investors in the future given our expansion plans here.
- Significant grant awards from Norwegian and Danish environmental authorities.
- Only international RAS company with three commercial RAS farms in operation.
- Only international RAS company producing and selling two species – Atlantic Salmon and Yellowtail Kingfish – with high marks on quality.
- Only international RAS company with full certification for two species: Atlantic Salmon and Yellowtail Kingfish (ASC and Global GAP).
- Among top two internationally in active RAS production capacity: close to 3000 mt.
- Currently active in four countries with growing position in the US that includes three office locations in Maine and California.
- US headquarters in Portland, Maine.
- The company has distinguished itself by an experience-based down-to-earth approach in the RAS segment, high fish welfare standards, and also leadership on environmental technologies.
- Nordic Aquafarms is in a unique position to scale with experienced production and engineering teams internationally, and proof of concept in production.
- The company has 65 + employees internationally – far more than any other RAS company considering Maine.
- The company has never experienced escape incidents, major die-offs, or major incidents in its operations. Quality management is a cornerstone in the company.