HighComp strengthens its investment in Iceland

We experience that Icelanders are financially strong, have significant advantages in terms of stable and affordable energy supply, and notably more predictable framework conditions. We have increased our investment in Iceland,” says Helge Rasmussen of HighComp.

Equipment supplier HighComp has for many years provided solutions to both marine and land-based aquaculture facilities in the aquaculture market. The company designs, manufactures, transports, and installs aquaculture tanks, roof structures, and walkways in composite materials.

They have, among other things, delivered tanks to Grieg in Newfoundland, Proximar’s facility in Japan, and to First Water’s hatchery/smolt facility in Iceland.

Business developer Helge Rasmussen at HighComp tells LandbasedAQ that Iceland is a market they want to expand into.

– We got the first contract in Iceland two years ago where we delivered tanks to First Water’s facility (formerly Landeldi), he says.

The tanks are 20 meters in diameter and are part of the so-called M2 phase, complementing the previous M1 phase of 4x15m tanks contracted from the local supplier Trefjar ehf.

– Iceland is the new ‘sweet spot’ at the moment. The capital market is functioning well and aggressively. – It seems Icelanders are unaffected by much of what Norwegian aquaculturists and producers have to deal with, especially concerning their natural advantages in both energy and water supply.

Rasmussen says they had anticipated much higher aquaculture-related earnings for the year, but since the government’s “rent tax bomb” has hit the Norwegian aquaculture industry, things have fundamentally changed.

– However, we see great potential in Iceland, and we hope that the market in Norway will normalize over time, he says.

The facilities must withstand a lot

Rasmussen says they have one of Norway’s largest engineering departments in composites, which he believes is beneficial since the facilities in Iceland must withstand significant design loads, including seismic activity.

– The strength and flexibility of composites are optimal in this context, as rigid structures more often face challenges with dynamic loads. The materials we use also have advantages related to low CO2 footprint, as well as a very long lifespan without corrosion issues.

– As the facilities and tanks get larger, a new need has arisen. Several of our customers now request roof structures over the tanks, as well as integrated walkways, to improve conditions for those working there, he explains.

Rasmussen believes Icelanders are great people to collaborate and work with.

– They are very hands-on and have high competence in relation to the volumes of fish coming from the country. I believe that export volume will significantly increase in the years to come, he says.

Efficient assembly of the wall elements for the 20-meter tanks at the First Water facility in Iceland.
Efficient assembly of the wall elements for the 20-meter tanks at the First Water facility in Iceland.

Collaborative agreement

To expand in Iceland, it was important for the company to have local presence and knowledge on the island. Therefore, HighComp announced a collaboration agreement with the Icelandic company Trefjar for aquaculture in Iceland in the summer of 2023.

Rasmussen says Trefjar is a specialist in the production of fish tanks, and the agreement will combine Trefjar’s long-standing local presence in Iceland with HighComp’s engineering and installation expertise to provide significant benefits for Icelandic customers.

– The collaboration agreement between Trefjar and HighComp comes at a time when the aquaculture sector in Iceland is experiencing significant growth. The Icelandic government has actively promoted the development of aquaculture in Iceland, and the sector has grown rapidly in recent years, and we want to be part of this wave, he concludes.

Written by Therese Soltveit in LandbasedAQ Read the article in its entirety here.

Roof structure with integrated walkway - for improved working environment.
Roof structure with integrated walkway - for improved working environment.

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