Aibel enters into a cooperation agreement on realisation of offshore aquaculture

Aibel has entered into a framework agreement with Utror for the development and realisation of offshore aquaculture, initially through a feasibility study. The companies see great potential in leveraging each other’s expertise to establish offshore salmon farming.

Offshore aquaculture illustration Aibel
Offshore aquaculture. Illustration: Aibel

The framework agreement means that Aibel will assist with its expertise in complex offshore installations and study work to ensure the realization of Utror's plans for developing offshore aquaculture. The agreement is an important milestone in Aibel’s strategic commitment to new markets.

“At Aibel, we were early to bring our experience and expertise from oil and gas into the offshore wind industry. Part of our strategy is still to look towards new markets where we can apply our expertise. Among these are hydrogen, carbon capture, biofuel, and offshore aquaculture. This is an area with large potential, and Utror is an exciting and visionary partner with a solid background from traditional fish farming and exposed aquaculture,” says Erlend Mjanger, SVP Business development at Aibel.

Utror originates from the company Lovundlaks on Helgeland, a pioneer in the Norwegian aquaculture industry. Now the ambition is to increase production by taking the salmon out to sea. This provides the opportunity to start with blank sheets in new areas offshore and establish production with enhanced biosafety from day one. This, combined with the optimal growing environment for salmon, forms a good basis for good fish welfare.

“In Norway, we hold leading position within salmon farming as well as offshore operations in demanding waters. If we can combine these skills, we have great potential to significantly increase salmon production and at the same time create a whole new industry with many jobs and major ripple effects,” explains Utror CEO Olav-Andreas Ervik.

Aibel’s work will primarily consist of designing a pilot plant consisting of large floating steel structures of up to several thousand tonnes. This work is carried out from Aibel’s Oslo office. Furthermore, the agreement may lead to a contract for detailed engineering and construction of the pilot plant.

If this work in the long-term leads to production of several offshore aquaculture facilities, it could create a significant number of jobs for Aibel, both within engineering and not least at the yard in Haugesund, as well as contribute to ripple effects in other parts of the country.