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The new pier facilities at Kyleakin Feed Plant were officially opened by local MP Ian Blackford.
The newly refurbished and extended pier means both ingredients and the final feed product can be transported by sea, keeping road haulage to a minimum.
Its opening marks a major milestone in the journey towards final completion of the feed plant, which is currently undergoing testing as part of its commissioning phase.
Fifty five people now work on the site, with more than 60 per cent recruited from the local area.
Mick Watts, Mowi’s project director and global engineer, who has overseen the project from its inception said: ‘We’ve been delighted at the warm reception we’ve received from the community and would like to thank them for their patience over the last few years.
‘It’s also been great to build such a strong team here on site and we’re particularly pleased we have been able to provide employment for so many local people.
‘This is a big step forward for us as the pier facilities are an integral part of the company’s investment on this site. We’re also hopeful the plant will be finished in the coming months.’
Ian Blackford congratulated Mowi on completion of the pier facilities, saying: ‘We should never underestimate the importance of the salmon farming industry to this part of the world. We are passionate about creating opportunities for young people and their families to live here and the salmon industry is playing an important role in that. Food and drink are an important part of Scotland’s economy going forward and salmon is now our largest food export.’
The plant will produce fish feed to supply Mowi’s salmon farms across the western Highlands and Islands of Scotland, as well as Ireland, Norway and the Faroe Islands. It will provide for a range of salmon diets, including organic feed for Ireland and Scotland, as well as specialist brood stock and freshwater feeds. The plant has the capacity to produce 170,000 tonnes of feed pellets a year.
Mowi built its first feed plant in Norway and hopes to build a third in Canada to support its salmon farming operation there.