Norwegian seafood business Mowi is upgrading a UK salmon processing plant to bring in efficiency-saving automation and technology.

Mowi is investing GBP15m (US$20.3m) in its Blar Mhor plant in Fort William, Scotland, with planning mission granted by the local Highland Council authority for the 700 square-metre extension project over two floors. Work is due to start later in October and is expected to be completed in the second quarter of next year.

New gutting and packing lines, and robotic box stacking technology will be added to the Blar Mhor facility, proving the capacity to pack 200 fish a minute, plant director Scott Nolan said in a statement.

“A lot of the technology used in the upgrade, such as automation, will make a lot of the manual, more difficult jobs like heavy lifting, much easier. In future, over 80% of the boxes will be robotically lifted,” Nolan said.

Bergen-headquartered Mowi rebranded in 2018 from Marine Harvest. The Oslo-listed business, which has operations in 25 countries, generated revenues last year of EUR3.8bn (US$4.3bn) and a net profit of EUR119m.

This summer, the company announced a deal to sell a frozen salmon processing plant in northern France to local peer Sofipêche, along with its Appéti’ Marine brand.