Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

SAKLAS Report Summary

Project ID: 735743

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SAKLAS (Feasibility of Salmon and Kingfish Land-Based Aquaculture Systems, Phase 1)

Reporting period: 2016-08-01 to 2017-01-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

SAKLAS is a disruptive Recirculating Aquaculture concept (RAS) design for sustainable farming of Atlantic Salmon (AS) and Yellowtail Kingfish (YK). The SAKLAS concept can cut investment and operational costs by 20-30% and offer profit margins between 30-40%. The investment payoff arrives in higher biomass densities (80-90 kg/m3) with lower mortality rates (8%) and reduced environmental impact (e.g. P release: 1.5 mg in 100 m3/h outlet water). These numbers make SAKLAS a highly competitive concept with significant risk mitigation to enable profitable production.

This Feasibility Study aimed to verify the viability of implementing SAKLAS into the land-based farming segment of AS and YK.

The main result of our study is that it is evident that SAKLAS is feasible from a technical, practical, and economic point of view for both fish species – as shown by the analysis of the competitor landscape, market prices and demand, the technical design and engineering actions already carried out by NAF, the in-depth analysis of our logistics, the approval of our production licenses by the Danish and Norwegian Authorities, and the high interest shown in our products by clients (with whom we have signed commercial agreements ensuring full production sales already in the first year of commercialisation). Planning is complete for a 2,400 MT AS facility in Fredrikstad (NO) and a 1,200 MT YK facility in Hanstholm (DK), as well as cost estimations, negotiation of offers from suppliers, financing processes and execution plans. Construction permits have been issued by local authorities.

Our Feasibility Study has resulted in a definitive “GO decision” to pursue this business opportunity, which since Phase 1 proposal preparation has received additional funding covering the full implementation of our farming concept. However, we now see the opportunity to bring forward new design innovations in our production by leveraging our experience with facility development, fish farming and innovation. They will bring reductions in CAPEX of approx. €3-4m in the next expansion stage, while being fundamental for NAF’s future expansion strategy (i.e. scale-up current production output to 8,000-10,000 MT/year) and internationalisation. Therefore, NAF’s executive team has made the strategic decision of driving the scope of our Phase 2 project in this direction, to enable and sustain NAF’s competitive advantage and growth.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

We have carried out a full market analysis, including interviews with significant and world class industry players, economic market and competitor product assessment; revision of product development costs, price structure of the final product and anticipated revenues; development of the business plan including risk and results dissemination strategies; IP management including freedom to operate analysis and IP strategy; maturation of plans for the full pre-commercial pilot of the SAKLAS prototype via the development of the Phase 2 development plan.

The main conclusion reached through the Feasibility Study is that the project to further develop SAKLAS to reach commercialisation stage should continue as there is clearly a high market demand for the product and little signs of mature market competition up to the present day. Furthermore, the strategic business plan has been reinforced through the positive response from potential clients and relevant stakeholders (e.g. policy makers) and interest to participate in the envisaged SAKLAS Phase 2 project.

The Feasibility Study results support the need for very careful IPR management both during Phase 2 development and especially following initial commercialisation of SAKLAS. Special attention will be given to the possibility of developing new design elements (zero waste production), with potentially related business secrets or possibly patents, and to careful monitoring of potential competitors. Consideration of the organisations identified in the report, and ongoing monitoring for similar commercial players, will be very important.

The Phase 2 product development phase will see NAF make further facility design improvements, more efficient logistics and improved scalability. During this phase of development, we will benefit from funding to support the cost of implementing our solutions and involving potential clients, and then incorporating feedback into our development processes. Aside from improving the quality of our product, this will allow NAF to make essential new industrial contacts through our customers and their associates, and thus effectively disseminate the benefits of using SAKLAS.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Our Phase I Feasibility study revealed the technical viability. While final engineering has been completed, the SAKLAS team has quality assured the following critical elements of the system: 1) optimal water hydraulics for YK and AS; 2) Production logistics in every step of the production process; 3) Temperature performance of the system; 4) Particle removal performance of the system; 5) Critical performance factors relating to biosecurity, feeding, mortality and fish welfare, 6) Water quality performance in general. The QA process has led to a number of final adjustments in the overall production design that will be implemented in the construction process.

RAS technology has been available for some years, but it is continuously enhanced. The SAKLAS project has taken particular care to define and verify the conditions RAS technology will be operating under. The unique aspect of SAKLAS is how we have integrated technologies and know-how to achieve optimal performance, while also achieving high environmental standards. Special care has been made to ensure scalability of the solutions.

We list the principal novelties that make SAKLAS an authentic breakthrough in the land aquaculture system and the state of the art.

Compact and versatile facility design: SAKLAS unique concentric and sectioned architecture can hold the whole grow-out cycle of fish in just 1 tank structure, fully integrated with an on-site slaughtering process. SAKLAS allows cuts in capital costs of approximately 20-30% and reduces the construction footprint (through lower piping, space and material requirements). Our solution enables flexible production (i.e. allows smolt addition every 2 months) and daily harvest, with the most efficient logistics in the market.

Stable operations: SAKLAS offers higher levels of production control (driven by our leadership in operations know-how, optimal efficiency, and risk mitigation capacities), leading to:
- Lower electricity usage
- Lower feed costs and higher growth
- Improved fish welfare coupled with reduced mortality
- Larger stocking densities without any detrimental effect on fish health or the environment
- Reduced OPEX and CAPEX

Environmental friendliness: SAKLAS will be the most ecologically sound solution in the market, integrating a zero waste strategy reducing in 90% phosphorous release and organic material in the environment.

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