First harvest of Japan-produced Atlantic salmon on track

After ensuring good fish growth, Proximar is intensifying its sales and marketing activities with its partner Marubeni so everything will be ready for the first harvest in September.
A worker holding a salmon at Proximar's facility in Oyama, Japan.

Javier Carreño Verdugo, Production Manager at Proximar's facility in Oyama - at the foot of Mount Fuji -, holds one of the fish. The company is Japan's first producer of Atlantic salmon.

Photo: Proximar Seafood.

With more biomass, increased operational activity, financing, strengthened equipment, and increased sales and marketing activities, the first harvest of Japan-produced Atlantic salmon is on track for September 2024. So said Proximar Seafood in its Q1 2024 results presentation, confirming the production update provided in April.

"Proximar is the first producer of Atlantic salmon in Japan, years ahead of the competition," said CEO Joachim Nielsen, commenting on the results. "We continue to be on track for our first harvest in September this year, supported by favorable biological conditions, stable water quality, and good fish health," he added.

Growth conditions according to expectations

As mentioned, in its Q1 2024 results presentation, Proximar highlighted that stable conditions and good growth of its fish are driving the company towards its first harvest of Atlantic salmon in September 2024.

Despite the February incident in which the company suffered a tank breach at its grow-out facility - resulting in a loss of approximately 50,000 fish -, fish stock growth continues and the standing biomass at the end of the quarter was 111.9 metric tons, up from 39.8 metric tons at the end of Q4 2023. In mid-May, the biomass was 188 metric tons.

"We are pleased to see the standing biomass increase at pace, whilst the growth of the fish remains according to expectations," assessed Proximar's CEO.

"Despite some start-up related problems resulting in mortalities, we remain confident in our targeted volumes. Fish health and safety remain our key priority going forward. We have a strong team in place and remain optimistic in terms of our production and first harvest," Joachim Nielsen continued.

Volumes, funding, and staffing, all is in place

Although it will communicate the 2014 target volume when the first harvest scheduled for September is closer, when presenting its Q1 2024 results, the land-based salmon producer in Japan said estimated harvest volumes for 2024 and 2025 combined to be around 4,700 tonnes (HOG). With a long-term annual production target of 5,300 tons (HOG) per year in Phase 1, Proximar expects to achieve this gradually from the first harvest.

Likewise, the company also reported an increase in operational activity at the post-smolt grow-out (PSG) building, where, as planned, there are now multiple batches. The second PSG module will be commissioned during the second quarter, with the remaining two to follow, commencing activity in the second half of this year.

To ensure everything goes according to plan, Proximar is counting on the NOK 165 million (EUR 14.23 million / USD 15.45 million) it raised after a successful private placement of NOK 140 million (EUR 12.07 million / USD 13.11 million) in December, and NOK 25 million (EUR 2.15 million / USD 2.34 million) more in the subsequent repair offering in January.

In addition, the land-based salmon producer reported that staffing is in line with the production plan and almost complete, with all key positions filled with experienced personnel and the establishment of an internal training program to ensure knowl-how transfer.

Getting ready for the robust market for Atlantic salmon in Japan

In its results presentation, Proximar noted that the market for Atlantic salmon in Japan has shown positive growth and robustness over time and that, even though by the end of 2023 and early 2024 the usual high prices for salmon in Japan have declined somewhat, they remain at high and attractive levels.

From 2022, Proximar has a long-term purchase agreement with its Japanese sales and distribution partner Marubeni Corporation for all its produced volumes. In March, the Japanese seafood giant announced the creation of a division dedicated to boosting the marketing and sales of Proximar's land-based Atlantic salmon.

"We are ramping up our sales and marketing activities together with Marubeni, as we progress towards the first harvest," Proximar's CEO commented at the presentation of Q1 2024 results.

"I’m confident that our strategic partnership with Marubeni provides unmatched access to the Japanese market, strongly supported by a separate division and a dedicated team working with us," Joachim Nielsen concluded.

About Proximar Seafood

Proximar Seafood is a Norwegian land-based farming company building and operating Japan's first large-scale Atlantic salmon farm at the foot of Mount Fuji, whose proximity guarantees high-quality groundwater used for farming. This strategic location also places it close to a major fish market, which offers cost and carbon footprint advantages, as the fresh salmon is harvested the same day it is distributed. The company inserted its first batch of eggs in October 2022 and plans its first harvest in Q3 2024.

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