Leading salmon farmer Scottish Sea Farms is to spend over £3m with suppliers throughout Scotland as it prepares to open its forthcoming new salmon farm off Lober Rock in the Scapa Flow, Orkney.
The new farm, which is due to go live in autumn 2019, will see a total infrastructure investment of £3.3m; over 90% of which will be spent with Scottish businesses, bringing a welcome jobs boost, especially in the Lochaber area where Gael Force Boatbuilding operates.
The newly-awarded contracts include £1.74m with the Gael Force Group to build a 200t steel feed barge – the first to be built at the former Corpach Boatyard near Fort William – along with moorings, 12 x 80m salmon pens, underwater cameras and environmental monitoring technology
Scottish Sea Farms’ Managing Director Jim Gallagher said: “These orders will equip our new farm with the latest technologies, ensuring we’re Scottish Technical Standard 2020 compliant and giving our salmon the very best environment in which to grow. We’ve worked with several of these suppliers for many years now as part of our long-standing policy of buying Scottish wherever possible and know their products to be tried and tested with regards to withstanding Orkney marine conditions.”
The new salmon farm is set to benefit non-aquaculture businesses too. Scottish Sea Farms’ Regional Production Manager for Orkney Richard Darbyshire explains: “Not only will we be working with local suppliers to the sector, but our salmon pens will be constructed by Gael Force Fusion on the remote island of Sanday, generating spend on everything from hauliers, ferry travel and accommodation at the nearby Kettletoft Hotel, to generators, welfare units and sundries for as much as three months or more.”
In addition to generating revenue for Scottish businesses and service providers, the new farm will create six new full-time roles and lead to further job creation across the supply chain. Gael Force Group founder and Managing Director Stewart Graham says: “As part of a planned increase of 10 new employees in Lochaber, we have already advertised six newly-created fabricator roles as a direct result of the barge being built at Gael Force Boatbuilding in Corpach, and we are also increasing our workforce with multiple new roles at our pen-building facility, Gael Force Fusion in Oban.”
It’s estimated that Scotland’s salmon farmers combined spend in excess of £595m annually procuring goods and services from Scottish suppliers.