February 23rd construction on the new EWOS fish health centre started in the Los Lagos region of Chile. The board of EWOS group has decided to invest 9.5 million USD (80 million NOK) in the centre, hoping it will result in a significant increase in research capacity. The EWOS fish health centre will extend over 2950 square meters and contain systems for hatchery, water purification, laboratories and research areas. The centre will from start-up hold approximately 25-30 employees.

Facing future challenges

Research director at EWOS innovation, Adel El-Mowafi are expecting a rapid increase in research, enabling EWOS to face future challenges:

“We will be able to do four to five times more studies each year and speed up our investigation into how feed can reduce the harmful effects of sea lice. We expect to quickly make new improvements on existing products and within two to three years we plan to launch new health feed products. Simultaneously, the new capacity will enable us to react even quicker to novel health challenges that may emerge in the future.” 

Record investment

CEO Einar Wathne said the investment increased their contribution towards reducing threats limiting the opportunities for sustainable growth. Threats such as sea lice and diseases are serious problems, hurting both financial results and the reputation of the seafood industry. This record investment in research and innovation will benefit both EWOS and the seafood industry in general.

“Through decades, EWOS has made bold investments in research and development. In 1996, we spent 20 million kroner to build the feed technology centre in Dirdal. Now we bring this tradition further. The investment we are now making is as far as we know the largest investment in research and development made by a private operator in the salmon industry.”

Sea lice problem soon to be solved

The goal of the investment is to create sustainable feed-solutions that prevent sea lice and disease. So far EWOS have not had the capacity to test their ideas. With this new facility, EWOS are able to conduct four to five times as many studies as before, enabling them to reach their full research potential.

The extensive reaserch being done to find alternatives to harmful medicine will soon present results, says Wathne, we can expect a reduction in the use of medicine, and in 3-4 years the sea lice problem will be solved. Wathne wishes to use special feeds in order to prevent the sea lice from locating the salmon.