|20 January 2016|

Marine Harvest is looking for a suitable location on the west coast of Scotland for a new £80m fish feed plant.

It will bring significant economic benefits to the region creating 55 full time permanent jobs with more created during the construction phase

The move follows a recent decision by the Board of Marine Harvest to invest in a plant in Scotland that will produce feed for use on their Scottish fish farms, as well as for Ireland, Norway and the Faroes.

After opening and operating a large feed plant in Norway, Marine Harvest hope to replicate its success in Scotland.

Ben Hadfield who is the chief operating officer feed for Marine Harvest globally, as well as the managing director of Marine Harvest Scotland, explained:  “This is a large investment in Scotland and should be welcome news for the host community given the number of jobs. We have a similar plant in Norway which has proved enormously successful.”

He added: “This plant will allow us to meet our aspirations on sustainability, as well as learn from our experience at the Norwegian plant. For example, it will use Liquid Natural Gas for most of its energy, providing a much reduced carbon footprint over current arrangements. What we have done in Norway has created jobs directly in the local community and also generated employment for local contractors and suppliers.

“We are in discussions with the owners of a number of sites and are seeking the views of local regulators as well as Highlands and Islands Enterprise and hope to be in a position to make a final decision on a preferred site within the next month.”

The feed plant needs to be in the West of Scotland and centrally located to provide easy access to Marine Harvest’s salmon farms on the West coast of the Highlands, Argyll and Bute and the Western Isles. And as the feed will be delivered by boat to the farms, it needs to be a site on the coast with direct access to an existing jetty or pier, or offer the potential for one to be built.

The plant could be up and running as early as 2018, depending on the length of time taken in the planning process.