Where small fry and big ideas are hatched

North of Trondheim, the multinational seafood company SalMar is building the one of the world’s largest salmon hatcheries – a demanding project that’s put Bravida’s interdisciplinary team to the test.


The Norwegian exporter SalMar is a global market leader in the production of farmed salmon. They’re now taking the next big step in their expansion by building one of the largest inland salmon hatcheries in the world – more specifically, in the village of Tjuin near Steinkjer, Norway, where an 18,000 square metre facility will produce 20 million salmon fry annually.

The investment is a joint project, where Consto is responsible for the architectural structures and Pure Salmon Kaldnes is responsible for the processing facility. Bravida is excited about contributing its expertise to the project. Consto namely contracted with Bravida’s Central Region in Norway, which will supply the electric installation, ventilation, property automation and heat, water and sanitation for SalMar’s high-tech facility. Håkon Hellebust is the multidisciplinary project manager at Bravida.

– It’s always fun to be involved in something this big, especially by international standards. Also, the technical process is on the cutting edge. To be a part of something groundbreaking, with our modern installations, is just awesome, says Mr Hellebust.

In the final phase of mechanical work
The interaction phase started in 2020, and Bravida was then asked to contribute as a contractual partner one year later. Since the final delivery is scheduled for September 2023, Bravida has been busy wrapping up the mechanical work as well as troubleshooting and individually testing the installation systems.

The next step is to synchronise them and make sure that the electric, ventilation, automation, and heat, water and sanitation all interact according to specifications. This is the monumental challenge, especially for Project Manager Håkon Hellebust, who coordinates the activities of Bravida’s interdisciplinary team, which currently numbers between 25 and 30 employees.

– Many hadn’t worked on an interdisciplinary team to this extent before. In the beginning, everybody was focused on their own discipline. Now, we work as one Bravida, towards the same goal, effectively and successfully. We think as one Bravida and deliver as one Bravida, explains Mr Hellebust.

Håkon Tjuin.jpg

Learning from one another
Since the project is technically cutting-edge, the Project Manager and employees are learning something new from one another every day. They face the challenges and work together to find solutions, which Mr. Hellebust feels is the most rewarding part of the work.

– The best thing is to see how the team develops as a group. It’s always nice to work with people who know a little more than you do. My co-workers are brilliant in their respective areas. I’m an electrical engineer, myself, and didn’t know that much about, for example, ventilation and automation before, admits Mr Hellebust.

The nature of the facility poses another challenge. As everyone knows, at SalMar’s salmon farm, it’s the salmon, which go from tiny roe into full-grown fish in several stages, and not the people, who come first. All in all, there are 62 tanks of various sizes, where the largest, final enclosure measures 17 metres in diameter.

– It’s an enormous building that doesn’t resemble anything we normally work on, such as residential buildings and the like. It’s fascinating to walk around the huge tanks and just take in the size of the whole production facility, gushes Mr Hellebust.

Exciting challenges
Mr Hellebust feels that they have a great relationship with Consto. Just like Bravida’s internal operations, the collaboration with the client is characterised by a solution-oriented focus.

– The collaboration is going really well. Of course, it’s not necessarily the case that we and the client think exactly alike about the challenges, but for the most part, we work really well together, states Mr Hellebust.

He is now hoping that his team gets the opportunity to work more often with the Norwegian fishing industry.

– It’s an exciting challenge to be a part of the fishing industry in Norway, which is a big business in which enormous investments are being made, says Mr Hellebust.


FACTS / SalMar fish hatchery 
What: One of the largest salmon farming facilities in the world. 
Where: North of Trondheim, Norway. 
Schedule: August 2021 to September 2023. 
Bravida’s assignment: Electric, ventilation, automation and heat, water and sanitation. 
Client: Consto. 
Number of employees: 25–30.