Search for feed plant site on Scot­land’s west coast

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MARINE Har­vest is look­ing for a site in Scot­land to lo­cate its £80 mil­lion fish farm feed plant. The de­vel­op­ment, an­nounced be­fore news of job cuts at the firm broke, will cre­ate full-time em­ploy­ment for 55 peo­ple, as well as sig­nif­i­cant op­por­tu­ni­ties in re­lated ser­vice in­dus­tries.

Fur­ther jobs will also be cre­ated dur­ing con­struc­tion of the plant, which will take be­tween a year and eigh­teen months.

The move fol­lows a re­cent de­ci­sion by the board of Marine Har­vest to in­vest in a plant in Scot­land that will pro­duce feed for use on their Scot­tish fish farms, as well as for Ire­land, Nor­way and the Faroes.

Af­ter open­ing and op­er­at­ing a large feed plant in Nor­way, Marine Har­vest hope to repli­cate their suc­cess in Scot­land.

Marine Har­vest Scot­land man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Ben Had­field, who is also the chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer of feed for Marine Har­vest glob­ally, said: ‘This is a large in­vest­ment in Scot­land and should be wel­come news for the host com­mu­nity, given the num­ber of jobs. We have a sim­i­lar plant in Nor­way which has proved enor­mously suc­cess­ful.’

Had­field, who lived and worked in Fort Wil­liam for 15 years, added: ‘This plant will al­low us to meet our as­pi­ra­tions on sus­tain­abil­ity, as well as learn from our ex­pe­ri­ence at the Nor­we­gian plant.

‘For ex­am­ple, it will use Liq­uid Nat­u­ral Gas for most of its en­ergy, pro­vid­ing a much re­duced car­bon foot­print over cur­rent ar­range­ments.

‘What we have done in Nor­way has cre­ated jobs di­rectly in the lo­cal com­mu­nity and also gen­er­ated em­ploy­ment for lo­cal con­trac­tors and sup­pli­ers.

‘We are in dis­cus­sions with the own­ers of a num­ber of sites and are seek­ing the views of lo­cal reg­u­la­tors, as well as High­lands and Is­lands En­ter­prise, and hope to be in a po­si­tion to make a fi­nal de­ci­sion on a pre­ferred site within the next month.’

The feed plant needs to be in the west of Scot­land and cen­trally lo­cated to pro­vide easy ac­cess to Marine Har­vest’s salmon farms on the west coast of the High­lands, Ar­gyll and Bute and the Western Isles.

And as the feed will be de­liv­ered by boat to the farms, it needs to be a site on the coast with di­rect ac­cess to an ex­ist­ing jetty or pier, or of­fer the po­ten­tial for one to be built.

The site needs to be a min­i­mum of four acres to ac­com­mo­date the var­i­ous build­ings that make up the feed plant.

Above: The new feed plant needs to have ac­cess to a jetty or pier

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