GRIEG SEAFOOD BC CELEBRATES NEW $40 MILLION WELLBOAT AND FIRST ASC CERTIFICATIONS  

 

MEDIA RELEASE, FEB. 12, 2020

VICTORIA, BC – On Sunday, Feb. 9, Canada’s most technologically advanced aquaculture wellboat docked in Victoria after a long journey from Norway.

Grieg Seafood’s newest vessel, the Ronja Islander, completed construction in Norway in late 2019, and was custom built to address some of BC’s salmon farming challenges, including sea lice and safe fish handling during live transfers to farms.

“We designed the Ronja Islander using input from our stakeholders and Indigenous partners. We heard some of their concerns around salmon farming in BC and turned those concerns into solutions when we built the vessel,” says Dean Trethewey, Seawater Production Director at Grieg Seafood BC who led the wellboat project.

“The transfer of sea lice from wild fish to farmed fish is an ongoing issue for our industry and for British Columbians who are concerned for wild salmon migrating by our farms, and this wellboat is here to help with that. In addition to its state-of-the-art removal treatments for sea lice, the process features 100% capture of the detached lice which will be disposed on land. This is important to us and to wild salmon.”

The vessel’s arrival comes on the heels of last week’s announcement out of Norway that Grieg BC’s parent company, Grieg Seafood ASA, is growing its Canadian operations to now include the province of Newfoundland & Labrador.

“It’s exciting to see Grieg Seafood ASA investing in both the west and east coasts of Canada, with this wellboat the latest investment in our BC operations,” says Trethewey. “This just shows how confident Grieg Seafood is in the growth of our company and the growth of aquaculture in Canada.”

The CAD $40 million wellboat will operate on both coasts of Vancouver Island, servicing 16 of Grieg Seafood’s salmon farms.

The Ronja Islander features the world’s most advanced fish-handling technology during both treatments and live transfers to reduce stress for the salmon. New technology also ensures that in the rare event that any wild fish are captured during fish transfers, they will be separated from the farmed salmon and safely released back into the ocean.

“Sea lice treatment is a critical feature of the Ronja Islander, but the overall improvement in salmon welfare for both farmed and wild fish that the boat handles is just as important,” Trethewey says.

“We are always looking for ways to do and be better, and this vessel is not only the result of new technological advances in aquaculture – it’s the result of listening to the concerns of our partners and those who call BC’s coast home.”

This spring, the artwork of Kwakwaka’wakw artist Patrick Hunt will be installed on the bow and stack of the Ronja Islander. The Salmon Princess was designed specifically for the vessel, inspired by a combination of the company’s Norwegian roots and the importance of salmon to BC’s coast.

 

Kwakwaka’wakw artist Patrick Hunt’s design, the Salmon Princess, will be installed on the bow and stack of the Ronja Islander this spring.

“Including Indigenous culture in the design of the vessel was important to us, and we are grateful to collaborate with Patrick Hunt in this process,” said Marilyn Hutchinson, Director of Indigenous & Community Relations at Grieg. “The Ronja Islander will be working in the traditional territories of many coastal Nations, and we hope this art initiative can convey how much Grieg respects the inclusion of First Nations in our operations.”

The Ronja Islander will leave Victoria later this week to begin operations on Grieg’s west coast farms. One of its first duties will be to work at Grieg’s very first Aquaculture Stewardship Council-certified farms in Nootka Sound.

Grieg achieves first ASC certification at two farms

As part of its recently launched Excellence Program, Grieg Seafood BC has made its first steps towards achieving Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification at all its farms.

Two of Grieg’s five salmon farms operating in Nootka Sound have been granted ASC certification in the past two weeks, the highest standard of independent certification in the world for responsibly farmed seafood. To achieve ASC certification, farms are audited against over 500 indicators or markers, including environmental and social criteria.

Three other farms in the area have recently undergone successful audits and are expected to also be granted ASC certification. Six of Grieg’s farms on the Sunshine Coast and in Okisollo Channel near Quadra Island are now under assessment.

“This is an important first step for Grieg BC as we strive to have 100 percent of our farms ASC certified by 2021,” says Rocky Boschman, Managing Director for Grieg Seafood BC.

“Our salmon farmers and certification team have worked hard to achieve the gold standard in aquaculture certification at these farms. I am very proud of them for representing Grieg’s dedication to excellence in social and environmental sustainability, health and safety, and transparency of our operations.”

The farms that received ASC certification are Williamson and Muchalat North. The others, Gore Island, Atrevida and Concepcion, are expected to also receive the certification soon.

Muchalat North is one of Grieg Seafood BC’s farms that was granted ASC certification recently.

Quick facts:

On the Ronja Islander:
• Length overall 69.86 m, tonnage approximately 1850 GT,
• Volume of cargo hold = 1800 m3 of water
• Accommodation for up to 12 crew members
• 100% closed-system technology during fish transport
• Innovative side-loading pump for better flushing and circulation of water
• Full ultra-violet system for disinfecting circulating water in cargo hold during live fish transfers.
• Full collection and on-land disposal of sea lice after removal during fresh water and hydrogen peroxide treatments
• Built-in system for mixing oxygen into the water in the hold.

On ASC:
• ASC was founded in 2010 by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative (DSTI) to manage the global standards for responsible aquaculture and included nearly a decade of meeting with scientists, environmental organizations, industry and academia.
• In addition to attaining ASC certification, Grieg BC achieved its Occupational Safety Standards of Excellence (OSSE) certification in October 2019 which is recognized by WorkSafe BC.

On Grieg Seafood BC:
• Grieg Seafood BC is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary in the province.
• 13 of Grieg BC’s farms operate in partnership with First Nations.
• Grieg BC’s farms are located in Nootka Sound and Esperanza Inlet on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Clio and Okisollo Channels on the east coast, as well as Jervis, Salmon and Sechelt Inlets on the Sunshine Coast of BC, north of Vancouver.

 

Media:

For media interviews on the Ronja Islander, contact:

Dean Trethewey
Seawater Production Director
Dean.trethewey@griegseafood.com

 

For media interviews on Grieg’s certification achievement or for more information, contact:

Kristin Storry, RPBio
Certification Manager, Grieg BC
Kristin.storry@griegseafood.com

 

For media interviews about Grieg Seafood’s expansion into Newfoundland, contact:

Kristina Furnes
Global Communications Manager
Kristina.furnes@griegseafood.com

Grieg Seafood expands to Canada’s east coast acquiring Grieg Newfoundland AS

Bergen and Marystown, February 7, 2020

  • Grieg Seafood ASA (OSE: GSF) has signed Share Purchase Agreements (SPA) for the acquisition of Grieg Newfoundland AS in Newfoundland, Canada.
  • The Newfoundland project includes exclusivity for salmon farming in Placentia Bay, which has a farmable area bigger than the Faroe Islands.
  • The project currently comprises licenses for 11 sea sites. 3 licenses are approved, 3 are expected to be approved in 2020 and the rest are in different stages of application. The project also includes a high-end Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) facility under construction.
  • The project has a long-term annual harvest potential of 30 000 – 45 000 tonnes Atlantic salmon.

Grieg Seafood has an ambitious strategy for long-term sustainable growth and development. By 2025, the company aims to harvest at least 150 000 tonnes of Atlantic salmon, to achieve cost leadership and to re-position itself in the value chain from a pure commodity supplier to a customer innovation partner.

Growth will be achieved through post-smolt investments, M&A activity and organic growth. Value chain repositioning will be achieved through increased presence in the market with partnerships, category development and brand cultivation. The acquisition of Grieg Newfoundland AS strongly underpins the 2025 strategy. The first harvest will be in 2022/23, and the region is expected to contribute 15 000 tonnes annual harvest by 2025.

Commenting on the acquisition, Grieg Seafood CEO, Andreas Kvame, says:

“For the past few years, we have focused on utilizing our existing licenses with success. This year, we will reach our target of 100 000 tonnes. Now we are ready for the next step on our growth journey. By developing salmon farming operations in Newfoundland, using cutting-edge technologies at all stages of the production process, we are strengthening our position as a global leader in sustainable salmon farming.

The US market is the world’s largest and fastest growing market for Atlantic salmon, but only a third of US demand is currently met by North American production. We already have a position in this market through our operations in British Columbia, where we have attained significant sales and marketing experience. With close proximity to important markets on the East Coast of the US, this acquisition significantly strengthens our US market exposure and opens up for synergies with existing operations.”

A brief history of the Newfoundland project

  • The Newfoundland project was initiated by Grieg Kapital AS and Per Grieg Jr. in collaboration with their local partner Ocean Choice International Ltd. in 2014. Grieg Kapital AS is owned by the majority owner of Grieg Seafood ASA, the Grieg Group. Per Grieg Jr. is Chairman of the Board of Grieg Seafood ASA.
  • In 2015, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to produce Atlantic salmon on seawater grow-out sites across four areas of Placentia Bay was signed with the Province of Newfoundland. 11 licenses for sites are currently approved or in different stages of application.
  • The Newfoundland project received Environmental Impact Study (EIS) approval in August 2018 for Placentia Bay.
  • The Newfoundland project also comprises a high-end Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) facility. Construction of the onshore smolt-facility commenced in April 2019.

Specific conditions of the Newfoundland project

  • The Newfoundland project includes long-term exclusive farming rights to the Placentia Bay area.
  • The marine sites are in an area with favourable biological conditions for salmon farming.
  • Temperature profile is similar to the Grieg Seafood’s Norwegian operations. Fluctuating temperatures in the water can occur in Newfoundland, with low temperatures in the winters and a recent incident of high summer temperatures in another part of the island.
  • The area is highly isolated from other salmon farmers in the region. Long distances and low interconnectivity between sites lower risk of biological contamination between sites.
  • Licenses require sterile salmon.

Equipment plan for the Newfoundland project

  • The sites are exposed to high seas and all sites will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology and systems for harsh environments.
  • 40-meter-deep pens and underwater feeding will reduce risk related to super-chilled or potential warm water.
  • Grieg Seafood’s post-smolt strategy will be implemented in the region, increasing robustness of the fish at all stages in the sea and reducing time in the sea to potentially comprise only one winter.
  • The fresh water RAS facility is planned to include a hatchery, a smolt facility and three post-smolt modules with potential annual capacity of 7 000 tonnes upon completion.

A stepwise approach to ensure risk management

The Newfoundland region will be developed gradually. Grieg Seafood will follow a stepwise approach to increased production and planned investments will be subject to frequent review and evaluation to ensure the viability and sustainability of growth and production. Grieg Seafood expects cost potential similar to its Norwegian operations and will leverage long experience producing in cold water. It also expects investment per kg to be similar to new sites in its Norwegian operations.

Production plan for the Newfoundland project

  • The first phase has an annual harvest volume target of 15 000 tonnes to be reached by 2025. First harvest in 2022/2023.
  • The second phase has an annual harvest volume target of up to 33 000 tonnes.
  • The long-term harvest potential in Placentia Bay of 45 000 tonnes will depend upon prudent risk management, approvals according to EIS plan and sustainable and profitable production.
  • On harvesting and processing, Grieg Seafood will collaborate with their local partner Ocean Choice International Ltd.

“Grieg Seafood has close to 30 years of experience with fresh water, post-smolt and sea water production of Atlantic salmon. Going forward, we will increase our focus on sustainability, fish welfare, reduction of carbon emissions and responsible farming practices. We will bring our best expertise, technology and knowledge into the development of the Newfoundland region, to ensure that we create value for all of our stakeholders alike: investors, customers, employees and not least for the local communities in Newfoundland,” says CEO Andreas Kvame.

Also commenting on the transaction, Stig Grimsgaard Andersen, Chairman of the Board of Grieg Kapital AS, says:

“Over the last few years, we have been able to make significant progress in the planning and development of this project and in 2019 we started construction of an advanced RAS facility at Marystown Marine Industrial Park, close to Placentia Bay. At this stage, we are fast approaching the initial smolt and seawater production phase. We are therefore glad to hand the reigns over to an organization with exceptional operational experience, financial capacity and scale to take full advantage of this opportunity. Our confidence in the viability and potential of this project is even further strengthened with Grieg Seafood at the helm and we are very happy to retain exposure to- and participation in this project through our continued ownership in Grieg Seafood ASA.”

Transaction details

  • Grieg Newfoundland AS is owned by Grieg Kapital AS (39%), Kvasshøgdi AS (39%), Ocean Choice International Ltd. (OCI) (19.5%) and Knut Skeidsvoll (2.5%).
  • Agreement to acquire 99% of the shares of Grieg Newfoundland AS and Grieg Seafood ASA has an option agreement to acquire the remaining 1% of the shares, which is retained by OCI.
  • Settlement for phase one of the production plan includes an up-front payment of NOK 620.5 million. NOK 264 million of this amount is for the work that Grieg NL has done in the project so far, including licenses with harvest capacity of 15 000 tonnes (NOK 17.6 per kilo). The remaining amount is related to investments already made in the project by Grieg Newfoundland AS.
  • When phase two is initiated, a further potential settlement of up to NOK 930 million is triggered by harvest volume milestones to be reached during the first 10 years of operation following the transaction.
  • The first milestone payment will be made when the company reaches planned annual harvest volume of more than 15 000 tonnes and the last at annual harvest volume of 33 000 tonnes.
  • Milestone payments will amount to NOK 43 per kg from 15 000-20 000 tonnes and NOK 55 per kg from 20 000-33 000 tonnes.
  • NOK 250 million of the up-front payment will be settled through issuance of new Grieg Seafood shares to the sellers of Grieg Newfoundland. The subscription price for the consideration shares will equal the volume weighted average closing price of the shares in Grieg Seafood over the three days prior to signing. The rest of the transaction will be financed through increased debt facilities.
  • The transaction is conditioned upon approval from Extraordinary General Meeting.

SpareBank 1 Markets AS has acted as financial advisor to Grieg Seafood ASA in connection with the transaction, and Advokatfirmaet Schjødt AS has acted as legal advisor to Grieg Seafood ASA in connection with the transaction. Wikborg Rein Advokatfirma AS has acted as legal advisor to the sellers of Grieg Newfoundland.

Fairness opinion

Deloitte AS has conducted a third-party verification of the valuation of Grieg Newfoundland AS.

 

For more information, contact:

Investors
Andreas Kvame, CEO, Grieg Seafood ASA
+ 47 90 77 14 41
andreas.kvame@griegseafood.com

Atle Harald Sandtorv, CFO, Grieg Seafood ASA
+ 47 90 84 52 52
atle.harald.sandtorv@griegseafood.com

Media
Kristina Furnes, Global Communications Manager, Grieg Seafood ASA
+47 48 18 55 05
kristina.furnes@griegseafood.com

Salmon Farmers’ Movember challenge raises $5,436; Mowi takes title

The moustaches: Grieg Seafood’s Mike Crivea (left) poses with ‘Best Salmon Farmer Stache’ winner Brad Marsili from Mowi Canada West in Campbell River. Eric Jensen from Cermaq Canada in Tofino is on the right.

 

After a solid month of growth, Mowi Canada West has come out on top as the winner of the ‘Best Salmon Farmer Stache’ Movember competition between Cermaq Canada, Mowi and Grieg Seafood.

Brad Marsili, a Site Manager in Klemtu with Mowi, edged out Grieg’s Mike Crivea and Cermaq’s Eric Jensen with his impressive handlebar moustache.

In total, this friendly challenge between Cermaq, Mowi and Grieg raised $5,436 for the Movember Canada campaign.

“It’s great to win, but mostly I am proud to have been a part of an initiative that raised so much money for an important cause,” Marsili said.

“I grow these ‘staches to support cancer awareness in general. I lost a good friend to cancer and currently have a sister-in-law fighting it. I feel this is a simple gesture to show my support. The competition was a lot of fun and I look forward to defending the title next year.”

Grieg issued the challenge to Mowi and Cermaq back in October, then at the end of November the companies chose who would best represent their Movember efforts. The BC Salmon Farmers Association received photos of the three company finalists and chose a winner on Monday, Dec. 2. Grieg was a close second with Cermaq coming in third.

“I lost by one vote, but that’s okay because it was fun and all for a good cause,” said Mike Crivea, Operations Manager for Grieg. “Congratulations to Brad on his big win, as well as to all of our companies for raising so much money for men’s health. I’m proud to have been a part of this challenge.”

“Movember is an important cause to me as my family has been directly impacted by prostate cancer. When we were approached by Grieg to participate, we saw it as a great opportunity to support a worthwhile cause, while also having a bit of fun,” says David Kiemele, Managing Director for Cermaq Canada. “We placed third out of a possible three positions, so we know we have some work to do for next year.”

As the winner, Mowi will receive a $500 donation to its campaign from the BC Salmon Farmers’ Association, as well as bragging rights until next November.

“It’s great to see industry coming together in a friendly competition for a great cause,” said John Paul Fraser, Executive Director of the BCSFA. “It was a tight competition. Those contestants grew some pretty impressive moustaches, but in the end Mowi received the most votes.”

Already the companies have confirmed that they will take part in the challenge again next year, with Cermaq and Grieg hoping for a different outcome, of course.

“Overall, it isn’t about who won, as the real winner was the Movember campaign,” added Kiemele. “That being said, will we participate again next year? Yes. Will we come to play? You can bet your beard we will.”

Tahsis welcomes filmmaker Mike Downie

Mike Downie with students at Captain Meares Elementary Secondary School in Tahsis, BC.

 

It was our honour to help the community of Tahsis bring in the award-winning documentary filmmaker Mike Downie, brother of the late Gord Downie from The Tragically Hip, to speak about Truth & Reconciliation to over 100 students and Elders from the west coast of Vancouver Island on Oct. 18.

Students from School District 84 (Gold River, Kyuquot, Zeballos and Tahsis) heard Mike speak about his goal to inspire Canadians to walk a path of reconciliation and help bring together Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. He also played the animated film Secret Path, which he worked on with his brother before Gord’s passing two years ago. The Secret Path tells the true story of Chanie Wenjack, a 12-year-old boy who died while trying to escape from a residential school and travel back home to his family over 400 miles away.

“A huge thank you to Grieg Seafood, the Tahsis Fire Department and the Mowachaht Muchalaht First Nation Health Department,” said Allison Stiglitz, a teacher who organized the event.

“Thanks to all of you, Mike Downie delivered an extremely important message. His story acknowledged our nation’s lack of understanding about residential schools, hopefully giving our youth more insight on the trauma inflicted over decades, so when they grow into young adults, one by one, they have more knowledge, kindness and understanding… Mike accomplished this with far more impact than I ever imagined.”

Mike is currently the co-founder of the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund.

 

Grieg challenges Mowi, Cermaq to grow Best Salmon Farmer Stache

Grieg Seafood BC’s Movember teammates show off their mustaches in 2018. This year Grieg has challenged Mowi Canada West and Cermaq Canada to grow the ‘Best Salmon Farmer Stache’ with proceeds to the Movember Foundation.

 

Salmon farming is usually about growing fish, but this November, it’s also about growing facial hair – for a good cause, of course.

This month Grieg Seafood BC, Cermaq Canada and Mowi Canada West are competing to see which company can grow the best ‘Salmon Farmer Stache’ with proceeds going towards the Movember Foundation.

Each November, many companies and individuals across Canada participate in Movember, a facial-hair growing initiative that raises vital funds and awareness to combat prostate and testicular cancer, poor mental health and physical inactivity.

“We know all of our salmon farming companies already have teams that participate in Movember. It’s fun for us employees and goes to such a great cause. We figured, why not challenge the other companies to grow the Best Salmon Farmer Stache and have some fun with it?” said Liam Peck, an Environmental Specialist at Grieg.

Grieg Seafood put out the challenge to Mowi and Cermaq on Oct. 25 via Facebook, and it didn’t take long for the other companies to accept.

“Movember is an important awareness campaign which brings attention to important and serious health issues for men, in a fun and relatable way,” said David Kiemele, Managing Director for Cermaq Canada. “We’ve been participating in the event for several years, but were excited to hear that Grieg wanted to make it a competition as it’s a good opportunity to get to know our peer companies while having some fun and raising needed funds for research and education.”

“Movember does a great job of raising awareness of a really important cause,” said Josh Visser, Financial Accountant at Mowi Canada West.  “The idea of a challenge between the salmon farming companies is a great one and I look forward to seeing all those ‘staches out there.”

By the end of November, each company will choose a delegate who best represents their Mo-growing efforts.

Of the three furry finalists, a winner will be selected by the BC Salmon Farmers Association, who will then donate $500 to the winning team’s campaign.

“The event holds special meaning for me as my immediate family has been impacted by prostate cancer,” Kiemele said about Movember. “I encourage other companies to get involved and help support to movement.”

“We’ve got some pretty competitive Mo-bros in the salmon farming industry,” added Peck. “If we can rock some great ‘staches while raising awareness for a good cause, it’s a win-win.”

A New Path Forward: Grieg supports implementation of UNDRIP in BC

Photo c/o Government of BC

Yesterday, the Government of British Columbia introduced a bill to bring the standards of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) into provincial law. If the bill passes, BC will become the first province in Canada to legally implement UNDRIP.

This is an historic moment for BC and all Indigenous peoples in the province, one that Grieg Seafood recognizes is a monumental step towards First Nations reconciliation in Canada.

Our Indigenous partnerships mean a lot to Grieg. We are grateful to be allowed to farm our fish in the traditional territories of many coastal Nations, and are humbled to be invited into many Indigenous communities each year.

In BC, Grieg already acknowledges the recommendations of UNDRIP, and every day we strive to include local Nations on all levels of engagement, information sharing, and opportunity.

We fully support this legislation put forward by the Government of British Columbia because it was developed side-by-side with BC’s First Nations, something Grieg will continue to do as we progress in developing sustainable fish farming in their waters.

For the full legislative declaration, click here: https://declaration.gov.bc.ca/

Grieg commemorates Orange Shirt Day differently this year

Orange Shirt Day was established to commemorate the residential school experience, to witness and honour the healing journey of survivors and their families, and to commit to the ongoing process of reconciliation. September 30 was chosen to represent the time of year in which Indigenous children were historically taken from their homes to residential schools.

Rather than purchase orange shirts for its staff, Grieg is making a donation to a local Indigenous centre that helps heal Elders and survivors of the residential school system. A single orange shirt will be hung in Grieg’s window from September 30th to to October 4th to honour the children who survived the residential school system and remember those who never made it home.

Clothing and textiles are the biggest contributor to microplastics in the ocean. By making a donation rather than purchasing 150 shirts for our employees, Grieg is helping to reduce its impact on the environment while recognizing this important day.

Grieg Seafood’s Indigenous workforce: Rudy Dick

Grieg Seafood’s Indigenous workforce: Rudy Dick

Mowachaht Muchalaht First Nation member Rudy Dick has been with Grieg Seafood for over 10 years with no plans of leaving any time soon.

As an Aquaculture Technician, a typical day on Grieg’s Muchalaht North farm off Vancouver Island includes environmental monitoring, loading feed silos, and general site maintenance to ensure the site is operating optimally – and safely.

“I protect nature by doing my job properly and by making sure everything around the farm is safe and secure to prevent accidents like escapes,” Rudy explains. “When you’re working out in the open with Mother Nature, you’re protecting her. You’re keeping both sides safe.”

Rudy loves his job, and as a veteran Indigenous worker at Grieg, he says he’s seeing more First Nations people entering aquaculture.

“These last couple of years, more and more of our First Nations are being hired,” he says. “It took a while for these new hires to get their feet in the door because they were unsure about working (in fish farming), but for me it was a no brainer. I lived in a rural community without much full-time, year-round work.”

“My first reason for getting into aquaculture was for employment, but the second reason was to find out if what I heard on the outside was true, but it’s not; it’s different from what they say.”

Part of Rudy’s responsibility is to train new hires, which he says is his favourite part. Training new workers sets them up to succeed while ensuring the work they do is done properly and carefully. He is also seeing more First Nations workers entering aquaculture with college training and more applicable skills than in the past. This gives him hope that more Indigenous workers will join the industry.

“Right now, most of them are still in the learning stage. As they gain more experience, they will eventually see what I see – that their role is not only as a worker, but also as a protector of Mother Nature. You learn to appreciate that part, and I love it.”

“It’s been a great 10 years with Grieg, and I’m looking forward to the next 15.”