Cases: Fisheries and aquaculture

Norwegian fish farming suppliers set sail to the saga island

Increased amount of farmed salmon is being produced in Iceland. Photo: Aqualine

This content was published before 1 July 2021 by GIEK or Eksportkreditt Norge

“This is the first aquaculture loan from Export Credit Norway to Iceland,” says a happy Kaare Haahjem, Export Credit Norway’s head of the Fisheries and Fish Farming team. The loan he is talking about is Export Credit Norway’s first credit frame agreement for financing of fish farming equipment that is exported from Norway to Iceland. The buyer is the Icelandic fish farming company Laxar Fiskeldi ehf. Laxar Fiskeldi, which is owned 53.5 percent by Måsøval Fiskeoppdrett AS from Frøya in Sør-Trøndelag, is well into the process of developing salmon farms in the fjords on the eastern side of Iceland. The company’s plan is to build up a production capacity of around 25,000 tonnes. The first phase consists of establishing a fish farm in the Reydarfjördur fjord with a production capacity of 6,000 tonnes.

Credit frame agreement that benefits Norwegian exporters

To realise the fish farm in Reydarfjördur, Laxar Fiskeldi had to purchase a significant amount of equipment. The company largely chose deliveries from Norwegian suppliers. Through its bank connection, Laxar Fiskeldi applied to Export Credit Norway and GIEK for a credit frame agreement of up to NOK 80.75 million, which was to be used for acquiring equipment and services to an onshore hatchery and the fish farm in the Reydarfjördur fjord. The following Norwegian suppliers have provided equipment and services to Laxar Fiskeldi:

  • Aqualine – Complete fish farm including cages, net webbing, mooring services og feed hoses
  • Steinsvik – Feeding system
  • AkvaGroup – Feed barge, camera system, lights, feed system
  • Vard Group – Service vessel and feed barge
  • Sterner AS – cleaning technology for land-based hatchery
  • Stadpipe (subcontractor) – Piping equipment
  • Egersund Net – Fish farming nets
  • KB Dykk AS – Diving services related to installation of fish farming cages

Norwegian manufacturers of fish farming equipment, services and technology are world leading.

Kaare Haahjem, Export Credit Norway

“A success factor for this transaction, which involved a number of different parties, are high-quality Norwegian exporters. Norwegian manufacturers of fish farming equipment, services and technology are world leading and have for the past 50 years developed the Norwegian aquaculture industry in tandem with the fish farmers. Additionally, it was very useful and a key success factor to work with a bank who knows the customer well,” says Kaare Haahjem. The bank he refers to is DNB, which has provided a guarantee for 30 percent of the credit frame agreement that Export Credit Norway together with GIEK has offered Laxar Fiskeldi. GIEK has guaranteed for the remaining 70 percent of the facility.

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Together with several Norwegian suppliers, Aqualine delivers a complete fish farm to Iceland. Photo: Aqualine

Laxar Fiskeldi

The fish farm at Reydarfjördur is Laxar Fiskeldi’s first. It is also the first time the company has utilised export financing. “We reviewed Norwegian suppliers specifically, but also evaluated suppliers from numerous other countries. However, we ended up choosing Norwegian suppliers as they have extensive experience from the aquaculture industries and could in parallel offer us competitive financing,” says Helgi Sigurdsson, managing director of Laxar Fiskeldi. Because the Icelandic fish farming industry is still in its infancy, and local banks therefore do not have extensive sector knowledge yet, it can be demanding for new industry players to secure funding, Sigurdsson explains. “It was the Norwegian suppliers and our Norwegian majority owner who informed us about export financing from Export Credit Norway. The application process was time consuming, partly because we are the first Icelandic [aquaculture] company to take advantage of export financing from Norway and partly because several suppliers were involved. However, we will definitely consider export financing again in the future,” Sigurdsson concludes.

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