From basement business to professional player:

11. May 2023

Vesterålen Marine Olje aims high


From its humble beginnings with the production of cod liver oil in a basement at Myre, Vesterålen Marine Olje AS has in just a few years developed into a successful and innovative company. The company is now preparing for further growth in the small fishing village, with investments that will have positive ripple effects for the local community.

In a small fishing village in northern Norway with about 2,155 inhabitants, the largest cod liver oil production in Norway is taking place. Even globally, it is highly likely that no one produces more cod liver oil than they do out in the open sea on Myre.

A company in transition
Since its inception in 2005, Vesterålen Marine Olje has been an important supplier of raw materials to Möller’s cod liver oil. The cod liver oil, which is said to have health benefits for the heart, circulation, joints and skin, among other things, is extracted from fish liver. There is no shortage of this resource in Vesterålen. When cod liver oil production started in Myre, 70 tons of cod liver oil were produced in the first year alone. Eighteen years later, the annual production has increased to 2,000 tons.

In early 2022, the Orkla Group entered into the ownership of the Northern Norwegian company, paving the way for further development of the local business. In recent years, the company has made significant investments in both facilities and production methods, and now it is the production facilities’ turn.

Building for the future
“In May, we will begin the expansion and conversion of the factory plant in Myre harbor,” says Stian Frivåg, CEO of Vesterålen Marine Olje. “In addition to getting new and nice facilities for our employees, the expansion provides opportunities for further growth and development of the company,” he points out.

A new workshop, nice office spaces, and new changing rooms will contribute to a better workday for the company’s 12 employees. The expansion of the production facilities also enables even more employees to join the company.

The CEO confirms that Vesterålen Marine Olje has a recruitment need and that there will be several new hires in the near future. Among other things, the company will eventually need more process operators, as well as an additional resource in administration.

Positive for local businesses
The expansion of the factory also has positive ripple effects for local businesses, as Frivåg has several local partners on board.

PEAB Bjørn Bygg is the general contractor for the construction work to be started, and several local craft companies are engaged as subcontractors. Bjørnar Lind AS assists with the electrical work, Staven Grus AS performs excavation work in connection with the expansion, and Nilsson Haras AS has taken on the plumbing work.

A boost for the coastal community
Myre is known as a small town where coastal culture is a natural part of daily life, and the mayor of Øksnes municipality is very positive about the expansion that Vesterålen Marine Olje is now planning in the fishing village.

“The investments being made in Myre are both important and gratifying,” says Mayor John Danielsen in a statement. “It is very positive for both the local community and the industry that such investments are being made along the coast of Nordland,” he believes.

Better use of resources
The expansion of the production facilities in Myre is closely related to the company’s further development. Vesterålen Marine Olje plans to make significant investments in the production line in the future.

Vesterålen Marine Oil’s CEO, Stian Frivåg, is focused on developing the company in a sustainable direction and can already show measures that have contributed to a reduction in food waste equivalent to 100 tons annually. The Vesterålen-based company has achieved this through better utilization of resources used in the production of cod liver oil.

Now, the company is taking further steps that will change both the production line and, not least, the preservation of raw materials, the ocean, and the coast. Today, however, it is the upcoming construction that occupies the company’s CEO the most.

“For us, this is a big day,” Frivåg enthusiastically points out. “We have been working on this for four years, and now we are putting the shovel in the ground,” he concludes.