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New onshore fish farming in the Resource Park

Samherji Aquaculture has entered into agreements with HS Orka for the development of land-based salmon farming in the Resource Park at Reykjanes Power Plant. The goal of onshore farming is to produce a wholesome quality product with a low ecological footprint. The company has secured access to the sea and electricity to produce up to 40 thousand tonnes of salmon on land annually, in addition to which seawater will be used, which is a waste from Reykjanesvirkjun's cooling. Samherji aquaculture has also agreed with landowners for the development.

A general presentation about the project will be held on June 16th at 14:00 in Hljómahöllin, Reykjanesbær, and the meeting will be streamed live on Hljómahöllin's website at the following address:

Samherji Aquaculture plans to build up to 40,000 tonnes of salmon aquaculture in three phases over the next 11 years. The onshore farm will be located by the Reykjanes Power Plant and will consist of a hatchery, a farm and a primary processing house as well as service buildings. The total investment is estimated at over ISK 45 billion, but the board of Samherji has decided to provide funding for the first phase of the project.

When it comes to expanding land-based farming, more investors are expected to be approached. In comparison to other aquaculture projects currently under development around the world, the Resource Park's aquaculture plans are considered large. Hundreds of jobs will be created during the construction phase, and over two hundred jobs will be created in onshore farming once production begins.

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The first phase's preparations have begun.

Work on the assessment, licensing, and design process has begun, but it is expected to be completed next year. Juvenile farming will begin in the first phase at the beginning of 2023, followed by final farming and product processing in 2024 and 2025, according to Samherji's aquaculture plans. 10,000 tonnes of salmon will be produced in the first phase, with an estimated investment of ISK 17 billion. 10,000 tonnes will be added in the second phase, and 20,000 tonnes in the third. If everything goes according to plan, the Resource Park's farming operations will be fully operational by 2032.

Samherji Aquaculture, a Samherji group company, already has some operations in Suðurnes, but it also operates a primary processing plant and full processing in Sandgerði, as well as a farm in Staður by Grindavík and a farm in Vatnsleysuströnd. The company also operates a salmon farm in Núpsmýri by Kópasker and a juvenile farming facility in Núpar in Ölfus.

HS Orka currently operates two geothermal power plants in Svartsengi and Reykjanes, as well as one hydropower plant at Brú in Tungufljót in Biskupstungur. A unique community of companies has grown up around HS Orka's geothermal power plants in the Resource Park, all of which use waste streams from the power plants in their operations. Today, the Resource Park has eleven businesses, including Samherji's fish market. The construction of the proposed onshore farming supports the Resource Park's goal of utilizing waste streams from geothermal power plants, which today flow partly unused to the sea. Conditions in the Resource Park are favorable when it comes to access to electricity, geothermal energy, hot springs and geothermal seawater.

Tómas Már Sigurðsson, CEO of HS Orka:

"With this agreement between HS Orka and Samherji Aquaculture, the Resource Park now has another company to add to the diverse operations that already exist. We applaud Samherji's plans for the industrial site at Reykjanes Power Plant, which aims to produce a healthy, high-quality product. The Resource Park's philosophy is to promote more efficient resource utilization. Seawater from Reykjanes Power Plant will be used in this project to maintain an ideal fish farming temperature. Finally, we're pleased to see that these plans will increase activity in our area of operation, whether in terms of increasing the number of jobs in aquaculture within the Resource Park or in related industries throughout the Suðurnes peninsula "

Jón Kjartan Jónsson, Managing Director of Samherji Aquaculture:

"The management and staff of Samherji Aquaculture have worked hard for almost a year to prepare this project in Reykjanes," says Jón Kjartan Jónsson, Managing Director of Samherji Aquaculture. Completing these agreements is a significant step forward for us, and we can now begin construction. We've accomplished good results in land-based aquaculture, and this investment reflects our belief in the industry's continued growth. We're excited to expand the area and capitalize on the advantages of being close to HS Orka and Reykjanesvirkjun. We've found some of the best conditions for aquaculture in this area. The use of warm water from HS Orka's power plant is a key component in making this investment possible. Not least, this is a very environmentally friendly production that the market is calling for. "

Þorsteinn Már Baldvinsson, CEO of Samherji:

"The development of onshore salmon farming within the Resource Park is based on the Samherji Aquaculture and HS Orka expertise in very different areas, but when they are combined, we consider it economical to develop extensive onshore farming, which must be considered great news," says Þorsteinn Már Baldvinsson, CEO of Samherji. These investments will also result in the creation of dozens of jobs in Reykjanesbær and the Suðurnes region, as well as a significant increase in Iceland's export revenues. Samherji’s  board of directors has already agreed to contribute ISK 7.5 billion to this project in order to ensure the first phase's development. It demonstrates, in my opinion, our belief that this is the right path for future food production and value creation. "At a later stage, we will seek additional investors to ensure the project's continued development."