Gathered Experts for Oceanfront Farming


Salfjord is gearing up to develop an impressive aquaculture facility on land in Aure municipality on the Norwegian West coast. A strong interdisciplinary team of directors recruited by the company before securing its operating licence will now lead the way in a key drive to raise capital.

“Our board has been a very important factor so far, and will undoubtedly continue to play a decisive role,” says Salfjord CEO Hans Ramsvik, who has led the company since its creation in 2018.

With a licence for land-based fish farming recently secured from the local authorities in Aure at Tjeldbergodden, he has given priority to recruiting highly competent directors. This board now comprises eight members with specialist expertise in aquaculture, finance, fish health, industrial food production and planning processes.

“Our directors possess important expertise and experience which will be crucial to our success,” explains Ramsvik. “We’re delighted to have such a strong and diverse team able to help drive our company forward.”

Knows the aquaculture sector
Chair Finn Backer has extensive experience in the technology and aquaculture, and has previously headed the regional chamber of commerce. He holds about 20 per cent of the shares in Salfjord.

“Land-based aquaculture has tremendous potential, and it’s incredibly exciting to be part of this project,” says Backer. “Salfjord will provide significant spin-offs for the region and associated businesses.”

Ramsvik is enthusiastic about having Backer on board and highlights his experience with wellboat operations and shipbroking, as well as his many years of involvement in corporate development both in Norway and internationally.

Director Kirsti Hjelde also brings valuable expertise to Salfjord. With her background as a vet and her work at Nofima, she has extensive experience of industrial food production, aquaculture, and fish welfare.

“Biology plays a crucial role when it comes to bringing aquaculture on land, and Kirsti is a really key person for us,” Ramsvik comments.

Furthermore, Olav Håkon Ulfsnes will contribute valuable expertise to the board from industrial food production and has previously served as a director of Nortura, one of Norway’s largest food producers with an annual turnover of approximately NOK 28 billion.

Rigged for growth
Expertise in planning and area use has been particularly important in the work which led up to securing Salfjord’s licence, and director Kåre Kårtvedt has been involved with the company from the start.

As the owner of Areal & Plan AS, he has contributed expertise in spatial planning and development work as well as being actively involved in the application for a building permit related to site selection and the construction of roads and a quay.

“It’s crucial to be hands-on with these processes to ensure that the basis for the development is sufficiently assessed and that the necessary approvals are in place,” says Ramsvik. “Kåre’s expertise has been invaluable in this respect.”

With its licence in place, Salfjord faces a crucial development phase. It will now be seeking capital for the first construction phase, which is due for completion in 2026. The board will play a key role in this work.

“We aim to place the company on a sustainable financial footing and safeguard the interests of current shareholders,” emphasises Ramsvik. “An experienced and knowledgeable board is a significant advantage in this process.”

Director Svein Grude, who has experience of technology and finance from such companies as Akva group and Lyse, will be one of several key individuals in this phase, the CEO explains.

“Svein also contributes valuable expertise in investment analysis and corporate development, and is very familiar with what’s important for growth companies to emphasise during such an intensive phase.”

Partnerships formed
Salfjord has also established strategic partnerships with suppliers and centres of expertise to meet its needs. One of the most important of these is Artec Aqua.

“They are a highly valuable collaborator,” reports Ramsvik. “As a technology leader and experienced turnkey contractor, it will contribute valuable expertise and implementation capabilities.”

Salfjord is also collaborating with Norconsult, which does planning work, impact assessments and socio-economic analyses. Their contributions have included mapping possible spin-offs from the project, including circular business opportunities where Salfjord’s waste and by-products can be utilised for new value creation.

The company has also worked closely with local innovation company Vindel AS, and has now secured expert assistance from Doxacom on business development, communication and sustainability management – all crucial for the process of raising capital.

Ramsvik is enthusiastic about Salfjord’s future. “We’ll build our own organisation for the project phase and the most important functions for preparing operations. We’re well positioned and ready to meet the challenges and opportunities which await us in the development phase.”