Ostend will get a land-based salmon farm. The fish will not be grown in cages in the sea, but in large basins on land. The target is 15,000 tons of Atlantic salmon per year as from 2023, which should make it the biggest land-based salmon farm in Europe.
Ivar Refsnes, the president of Refsnes Laks and operational director of Columbi Salmon, says Ostend was chosen because they want to have a production unit close to the market. Studies have shown that the Benelux countries and France have a big demand for salmon.
"Three things are important for a salmon farm: a big surface, enough energy and enough water. Ostend combines all three", Refsnes told VRT NWS. The presence of the Ostend Science Park was another trump card, as were the good contacts with the local authorities.
The unit should cover as much as 13.5 hectares in Ostend and yield 80 to 100 jobs, plus a number of indirect jobs.