The company, which is building a new state-of-the-art hybrid flow-through salmon farm west of Þorlákshöfn in southern Iceland, called the event a "turning point" in its development, with production slated to begin in 2026.
“We have worked tirelessly over the past two years to design and develop our new facility, making yesterday a joyous occasion for us," said Jens Þórðarson, CEO of GeoSalmo, in a company announcement on the GeoSalmo website.
GeoSalmos' inaugural land-based salmon farming facility is set to have an annual production capacity of up to 24,000 tons. The project's initial phase is projected to yield about 7,500 tons, with the first products anticipated to hit the market in 2027.
At the close of 2023, GeoSalmo successfully completed a financing round, attracting investment from Norwegian, Swedish, Icelandic, and Dutch entities.
Joining the roster of new investors are SKEL Investment Company, Úthafsskip, Eskja's ownership group, Norwegian industrial giant Endúr ASA, and Dutch fish processing and distribution firm Adri& Zoon.
Guests were spared the freezing Icelandic temperatures at the breaking ground ceremony yesterday, instead viewing the event via livestream at a reception in Ölfus Town Hall.
The event was presided over by some of Iceland's top politicians, with the first sod turned by Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson, Iceland's Minister of Infrastructure, Guðrún Hafsteinsdóttir, Minister of Justice, together with Hreiðar Hreiðarsson, Head of Aquaculture at GeoSalmo.
Announcing the details of the ceremony on its website, the company said it was "a pleasure to have the two ministers participate, considering their local roots in the area".
“It is a cause for celebration that substantial investments are being made here to foster employment and create value in Ölfus. Such dedicated investment is of great importance for the local community and neighbouring areas, as it stimulates the economy and contributes to societal advancement," said Hafsteinsdóttir.
"It‘s not just a matter of constructing one sizable project – it’s about cultivating a flourishing community that will come to hold significance to the country's entire economy,” she said.
“Salmon farming is becoming an increasingly important part of the world’s protein production, and witnessing the dedication that defines the company’s initiative in this field is truly gratifying,” added Johannsson.
“Us locals understand the importance of distinguishing ourselves in the production of eco-friendly food. With GeoSalmo’s new land-based salmon farm near Þorlákshöfn, these efforts are on the rise," said Elliði Vignisson, Mayor of Ölfus.
"We recognize that true prosperity comes from creating value. This project has been in development for a while, with different stakeholders joining forces to establish a sustainable and responsible business. This groundbreaking is indeed a reason to celebrate, as operations are set to begin in the near future," Vignisson concluded.