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.

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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.