AquaGen’s new full-cycle facility, Profunda, was officially opened on August 21, 2023, in Barstadvik in Ørsta municipality, Norway. As Norway’s only land-based full-cycle broodstock and egg production facility, Profunda will deliver biosecure salmon eggs all year round and aims to supply customers across the globe.
Profunda is a full-cycle, land-based facility created to produce salmon eggs. Salmon spend their whole life within the facility and under optimal conditions, physically separated from the environment, ensuring unique biosecurity and exceptional production conditions.
The location of the facility is also unique. Through thousands of years, the river Storelva in Barstadvik has distributed glacial deposits formed during the last ice age, creating the foundation for naturally cleaned groundwater through the valley and into the fjord.
“We have established wells for fresh and marine groundwater which supplies the facility with totally pure water, and Profunda is thus unique in Norway. The good access to clean groundwater, alongside several other biosecurity steps, is the reason why Profunda can deliver specific pathogen-free salmon eggs throughout the year, enabling deliveries of eggs across the globe,” the company said.
AquaGen purchased Profunda in 2017 at a stage when the facility produced broodstock salmon for other customers. In 2018, the facility expanded its broodstock production capacity and in 2020, the company started to work on turning Profunda into a full-cycle land-based facility for egg production.
“It has been a comprehensive process to establish wells for fresh groundwater and expand the concession for freshwater withdrawal. We have built a freshwater department for broodstock, an egg harvesting line, an egg incubation department, technical facilities and a new administration area. Artec Aqua has been the turnkey contractor throughout the project and has delivered within the quality, price, and timeframe we agreed upon,” the company said.
Over 130 visitor attended the opening including visitors from Korea as part of a larger delegation collaborating with Innovation Norway.
The first batch of eggs was delivered in May 2023 and since then the company’s egg trucks with in-house drivers have delivered many batches within Norway. “We have also sent several deliveries to the USA. Profunda has a capacity of about 100 million eggs per year, throughout the year and will deliver eggs to sea-based and land-based production, but the export market will be prioritized once the necessary permissions are in place,” the company said.
“In order to export eggs to the whole world, the facility needs to have the status as a specific pathogen-free segment from the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH). This requires a two-year surveillance period, which will take us to March 2025. The surveillance will document that the facility is pathogen free and independent from the surroundings. When we designed and established the biosecurity within the facility, we had an excellent collaboration process with the expert veterinary competency at both the Norwegian Food Safety Authority and the Norwegian Veterinary Institute,” the company said.
“We sent several generations of our newest genetics to Profunda before the surveillance period started, and the facility is not dependent on new biological material. The fish at Profunda has sibling batches in sea-based production and thus we have a very wide foundation to further develop the genetics for food-fish production at different types of production facilities.