Proximar Seafood secures Japanese “blue sustainability” loan

The loan, worth ¥8.8 billion (US$66.1 million), will be used to fund Proximar’s land-based RAS facility for Atlantic salmon in Oyama, Japan.
Proximar's Oyama salmon aquaculture facility airview. Photo: Proximar Seafood.
Proximar's Oyama salmon aquaculture facility airview. Photo: Proximar Seafood.

Norwegian-owned Proximar Seafood has announced it has secured a loan of ¥8.8 billion (US$66.1 million) from Japanese banks to fund the development of its land-based recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) for Atlantic salmon in Oyama, Japan.

The loan will be structured in two disbursements, with the first taking place in April, and the second at the post-smolt grow-out building stage in the third quarter of 2023.

Blue sustainability financing in line with UN goals

"Signing this blue sustainability loan in Japan proves our strong commitment to sustainable fisheries, salmon farming and food supply, in addition to bringing us to our ~45 percent debt ratio target at attractive terms," said Proximar Seafood CEO Joachim Nielsen.

Mizuho Bank has been mandated as arranger of the syndicated loan agreement which is issued by Mizuho, The Shizuoka Bank, and Development Bank of Japan, at an interest rate below 5 percent.

"At Mizuho, we are strengthening our initiatives toward realizing a sustainable society, including responding to climate change and the transition to a low-carbon society, and we highly evaluate Proximar's contribution and approach to marine conservation. We therefore proposed to financially support their project through the use of a blue-sustainability loan", Mizuho Bank stated in a press release.

Blue-sustainability loans specifically address Goal 14 ("Life below water") of the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals to fund projects which promote marine conservation and sustainable fisheries.

Proximar moves ahead with project milestones

The latest development follows Proximar's announcement in February that it had secured 8.8 billion debt financing for its stage 1 facility from a syndicate of two major Japanese banks. During March, the company announced it had successfully transferred the first batch of Atlantic salmon from the first feeding department to the nursery.

"Transferring our first batch of fish from the first feeding to the nursery department is another important milestone for Proximar. The fish is performing according to our expectations, and we are confident in the facility and the team's capabilities going forward," said Nielsen.

Proximar's aquaculture facility consists of two separate buildings, a hatchery and nursery where fish is raised from egg to approximately 100g, and a post-smolt grow-out site where the fish is grown to harvest size of approximately 5kg. The production is based on a Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) provided by AquaMaof.

The nursery department had already been running for several weeks before transfer of fish as part of Proximar's test and preparation procedure. In total, Proximar has inserted four batches in the facility since the start of production in October 2022.

About Proximar Seafood

Proximar Seafood is a land-based salmon farming company, currently constructing the first large-scale fish farm for Atlantic salmon in Japan.  Proximar's first facility in Oyama is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2023 with an annual production capacity volume of 5,300 metric tonnes HOG. The production was initiated in October 2022 and the first harvest is expected in mid-2024.

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