EWOS enter VN aquafeed with a venture with Anova

Ew os, the feed division of Oslo-listed Cermaq, has signed a joint venture agreement with a Vietnamese pangasius feed producer.

The news will see Ewos set up and own 51 percent of a local joint venture for an initial sum of $6 million (€4.5 million).

The remaining stake will be owned by Vietnamese producer Anova Corporation, which produces feed for the pangasius industry at a factory in Long Anh.

Under the agreement, Anova will transfer its plant, which has an annual capacity of 85,000 metric tons, to the new joint venture company.

“Ewos Vietnam has considerable ambitions for the Vietnamese market and the goal is to utilize the full capacity of the plant within the first operating year,” the group said in a statement.

The company said it had hired “pangasius expert Mr. Serene” for the initial phase of market building.  With Asia accounting for more than 90 percent of the world’s total aquaculture production, large feed companies have been looking to expand in the region. In July, Skretting acquired Vietnam’s fourth largest feed producer Tomboy Aquafeed while in October, Ewos said it was looking to expand in Vietnam.

Within the aquaculture sector, low-value whitefish such as pangasius acccount for the biggest volumes, with production in Asia topping 8.7 million metric tons in 2008 — compared to 4 million for shrimp, 2.8 million for salmonoids and 3.1 million for high-value whitefish. It also has the strongest growth rate, growing by 10 percent a year, far above the other sectors’ growth rates of 3 to 5 percent.

Vietnam itself produces an estimated 1.8 million metric tons of pangasius a year, according to Ewos. Most of this is exported as fillets, reaching around 600,000 – 700,000 metric tons a year.

“Vietnam is the fish feed market for the future. We are well prepared, and look forward to employ our competence also outside the scope of salmonids,” Ewos Chief Operating Officer Kjell Bjordal said in a statement.

Using its experience, Ewos aims to make the production of feed in Vietnam “more cost efficient” than it currently is, the group said.

“We believe that the farming of pangasisus can be strengthened through optimizing the feed, focusing on feed technology, nutrient requirements, and fish health,” Bjordal said.

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