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“We did not buy new licenses in the auction in October due to the unpredictability of framework conditions. We were to invest another 4 billion in post-smolt facilities in Hasvik, expansion of the slaughterhouse in Hammerfest, and operating investments in Nordland,” said managing director, Knut Ellekjær

“The proposal for a new tax model has put an end to that and with it 300 new jobs in northern Norway. The activity along the coast stops and it is already affecting ordinary people and local communities,” Ellekjær continued.

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Since 2015, Cermaq has invested over five billion in Norway in hatcheries, slaughterhouses, fleets, boats and new technology for more sustainable operations. This has created 212 new Cermaq jobs in Nordland and Finnmark.

On the other hand, the managing director noted: “2021 was a good year both operationally and market-wise with high demand and high prices after the pandemic. We also had little sickness and incidents throughout the year. Without our 600 skilled salmon farmers throughout the value chain, we would never have been able to deliver such results of a turnover of just under NOK 6 billion.”

At the same time, Samfunnseconomik Analyze AS has calculated that one man-year in Cermaq provides 1.45 extra man-years locally/regionally. The activities have thus created an additional 307 man-years in a related industry and the public sector, a total of 519 jobs. Every year, Cermaq’s activities in Nordland and Finnmark contribute to the value creation of the equivalent of NOK 4 billion and almost 2,900 man-years.

Cermaq would complete investments of NOK 9 billion in Norway

With planned and implemented investments, Cermaq would have rounded up investments of NOK 9 billion since the company was sold from the government in 2014 to Mitsubishi Corporation. The state will now return as a partial “owner” of the company if the ground rent proposal goes through.

“Whether state ownership would now invest the profits back in Northern Norway as we have done is just speculation. Cermaq Norway has not paid out a dividend in 3 of the last 6 years. We have an extremely good and long-term owner who has contributed to jobs and value creation in Nordland and Finnmark where our profits are reinvested. Based on good results over the last two years, it is, therefore, natural to take a dividend of NOK 700 million as our owner is also our bank”, stated Ellekjær.

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He points out that the proposal for a new tax model will reduce Norway’s position as a leader in salmon farming. “As a global player, we see that the tax burden in Norway will be double what the industry has in Chile and Canada. Investments in Norway will decrease and that also means fewer jobs.”

“Cermaq is positive about contributing, but the new tax regime mustn’t weaken the industry’s competitiveness. The Labor Party’s goal is to double value creation in aquaculture by 2030, but this proposal does not do that. We lack a clear industrial policy direction and predictable framework conditions that provide the basis for investment and jobs in District Norway”, he ended.

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