Aker BioMarine grows krill investment and export potential in Uruguay

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

Image courtesy of Aker BioMarine
Image courtesy of Aker BioMarine

Related tags Krill Krill oil omega-3

Antarctic krill-harvesting company, Aker BioMarine, plans to double its exports by long-term investments in its hub in Montevideo, Uruguay. We spoke to Aker BioMarine’s Ingeborg Tennes on the significance of the Uruguayan market in relation to its krill harvesting and omega-3 opportunities.

Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, is now the main logistics base for Aker BioMarine. Complete with 15,000 m² warehousing space and bespoke repackaging facilities, the krill-based ingredient developer is now anticipated to become one of Uruguay’s biggest exporters by tonnage. 

Growing nutraceutical exports

As the biotech innovator has developed its presence in recent years, Uruguay has become a key logistics and distribution hub for Aker BioMarine’s operational activities in the Antarctic. Up to ten times every year, krill oil is taken from harvesting vessels by supply ships that are then off-loaded in Montevideo, Uruguay. 

In the capital, 70 port workers offload between 3-4,000 metric tons (MTs) of krill meal in 36 hours. Once offloaded, the krill is then transported to the new 10,000 m² Frimosa warehouse before it is distributed to customers around the world.

Speaking to Nutraingredients-LATAM, Ingeborg Tennes, Communication Manager at Aker BioMarine revealed that the reason the company has Montevideo as its main logistical hub is because of its supply chain rather than its proximity to a specific market: “The reason we have Montevideo as our main logistical hub is related to our supply chain and not to be near a market”.

Omega-3 market changes?

Sharing insights on whether current levels of interest in omega-3 markets are across LATAM or  more centered in Uruguay due to geographical importance and port, Tennes confirmed that the “awareness is equal throughout the region”.

Commenting on how fish oil and krill are “growing across the region”, ​Tennes added that “omega-3 awareness is heightened as consumers become attentive to health issues that can be addressed through diet”.

New addition to its fleet

Focusing on human and planetary health, Aker BioMarine produces krill-based ingredients for nutraceutical, aquaculture, and animal feed applications. The company has recently returned its 130-meter vessel, Antarctic Endurance, from its debut Antarctic krill harvesting season.

Calling Uruguay “the foundation of our global supply chain,” ​Matts Johansen, CEO of Aker BioMarine explains how “being able to call Uruguay our home base has enabled us to continuously scale and optimize our operations”.

Describing the latest addition to its fleet, Antarctic Endurance, as “the absolute cutting edge of energy and environmental efficiency”,​ the company expects its volumes of exports to double in upcoming years.     

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