EIB Provides SEK 530 Million to Swedish Salmon Farm for Greener, Sustainable Food Production
- The EIB, the EU climate bank, has agreed a SEK 530 million venture debt investment in food company RE:OCEAN, backing the development of Sweden’s first in-land fish farm in Säffle, Värmland.
- This is among the biggest investments into innovative and sustainable food production ever made in Sweden. It will support the Swedish bio-economy by producing sustainable fish in a large-scale, land-based ocean.
- The Säffle facility will eventually produce 10 000 tonnes of fish a year — one in five salmon consumed in Sweden. Nearly all of Sweden’s salmon is currently imported.
Deep in the woods of Värmland, in the town of Säffle, the European Investment Bank (EIB) is financing a new, highly innovative project: a large-scale, sustainable land-based fish farm to produce Sweden’s favourite fish — salmon — all of which is currently imported. This EIB financial support will enable in-land salmon farming specialist, RE:OCEAN, to develop Sweden’s first commercial and large-scale, land-based salmon farm, employing cutting-edge zero-water circulation technology. The facility will encompass all the production steps under one roof, from egg to harvest, slaughtering, processing and packaging. It will enable delivery of fresh and sustainable salmon directly to Swedish supermarkets and restaurants. Swedes eat an average of 12 kg of fish per year. This bio-economy project secures a higher level of domestic food and protein production independence for Sweden by producing almost 20% of domestically consumed salmon locally.
Commercial fish stocks around the world are under great strain, with 90% of them either exploited to their maximum or overfished. At the same time, global demand is growing. RE:OCEAN’s new “ocean-on-land” farming provides an alternative, scalable and sustainable new source. Salmon will be farmed in 88 pools under monitored conditions, with clean water circulating, being purified and reused, in a closed cycle. This new technology creates an entirely clean water environment for the fish; allows full control, from eggs to finished product, with no emissions or contamination of rivers or seas. The project will also support the local economy and contribute to increasing regional employment.
The project is supported by Sweden’s three leading wholesale companies — Axfood, Coop and ICA — which see great opportunities in being able to offer consumers healthy and sustainable Swedish salmon.
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EIB Vice President Thomas Östros, who is responsible for EIB operations in Sweden, commented: “At the EIB, we are delighted to finance this groundbreaking, major project for sustainable food production. Not only will RE:OCEAN’s new facility provide the Swedish population with domestically and sustainably produced salmon, but it will also do so in an innovative and climate-friendly way, employing cutting-edge zero-water circulation technology. In addition, food supply has become an important part of the critical infrastructure of any economy and the Säffle salmon facility will strengthen Sweden’s food self-sufficiency and resilience.”
RE:OCEAN CEO Morten Malle said: “We are thrilled with the EIB’s support. The EIB investment is a strong signal of trust and a cornerstone for other investors in our new, sustainable food production concept, and a result of 12 months close cooperation. This process also verifies our team’s and partners experience within the industry, our highly advanced solutions and new technology, that will enable consumers to enjoy clean, healthy locally produced salmon while safeguarding our environment.”
RE:OCEAN Chair Katarina Klingspor added: “This EIB investment validates RE:OCEAN’s pioneering mission to establish a revolutionary, state-of-the-art technology on the doorstep of Sweden’s salmon consumers. With the support of the EIB and other investors, we plan to move forward with construction and ramp up to full production with ready-to-eat salmon by 2026.”
Financing innovation in climate action and sustainability
The bio-economy fish farm financing project is aligned with the European Union’s policy orientation as well as the EIB’s activity to support the European Green Deal, and is in line with Paris Alignment commitments. It further aligns with EU and EIB policy by meeting climate action and environmental sustainability criteria, and by contributing to the EU Bioeconomy and the Circular Economy Package. It will also enable sustainable production, processing, distribution and consumption of salmon and reduce food waste. In addition, the project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the use of renewable sources in the production process.