The change of name is connected to the company’s strategy of increased focus on fish farming. Russian Aquaculture plans to invest more than 13 billion rubles (€184.2 million) in fish farming in the period to 2020 and increase production more than four times – to 21.000 tons of fish per year, RBC reports.
The investment plans include building of a fodder factory with capacity of 80.000 tons per year, and facilities for production of 12 million smolt per year. This will make the company less dependent on import from aboard, as Russia lacks its own production of quality fish fodder and smolt. Russian Sea Group has been importing all their fodder and smolt from Norway.
Russian Aquaculture has licenses to 29 lots for fish farming. The main areas are Karelia, where the company farms trout in lakes, and in fjords on the coast of the Barents Sea, where they have several plants for production of salmon.
When Russian on August 7 2014 introduced a one-year ban on import of a long list of food and food products originating from the US, EU, Canada, Australia and Norway, smolt of salmon and trout happened to be included in the list. Fish producers warned the authorities that Russia will have slaughtered its last farmed salmon by 2016 if the import of smolt from Norway was not resumed, and smolt was removed from the sanctions list less than two weeks later.
Russian Sea Group was accused for increasing its prices on salmon 80-100 percent the day after the embargo was announced, and the company’s shares climed almost 23 percent after the sanctions were announced, Forbes reported.
Russian Sea has four salmon farms in Ura Bay and Titovka Bay, close to the Norwegian border. In 2014 the company sold the first salmon harvested from these farms. In July the company opened a processing plant in Ura-Guba which can process 70 tons per day.
In November 2014 Norwegian aquaculture equipment supplier AKVA Group concluded a NOK 63.2 million contract with Russian Sea Group on delivery of salmon farming gear in the Murmansk region in 2015.