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The Scottish Salmon Company (SSC) has been crowned winner of the Community Initiative award at the 2020 Aquaculture Awards for its work with the Outer Hebrides Local Energy Hub (OHLEH) project.

Created to encourage collaborative solutions to waste management and energy challenges, the OHLEH project is a unique initiative and the first of its kind in Scotland.

The initiative focuses on the creation of a local circular economy and is delivered by SSC in partnership with Pure Energy Centre (PEC), Community Energy Scotland and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (CnES) and funded by the Scottish Government Local Energy Challenge Fund.

The project involves the transfer of fish waste from SSC’s processing plant on the Isle of Lewis, which is integrated with other local household and garden waste in an anaerobic digester, based at the CnES Household Waste and Recycling Centre at Creed, and broken down to produce biogas.

The biogas fuels a Combined Heat and Power Plant with some of the electricity generated used to drive an electrolyser supplied by the PEC, which in turn produces green hydrogen and green oxygen for use at SSC’s hatchery as well as providing fuel for CnES’s hydrogen powered bin lorry.

The Comhairle said it "welcomes the success of our OHLEH project Partner Scottish Salmon Company by winning this prestigious aquaculture industry award.  It follows on from the VIBES Award win in 2019 and reflects the strong partnership that has been developed behind a ground breaking, innovative 'Circular Economy' project and maximises the benefits to the local economy."

The Aquaculture Awards recognise excellence in worldwide aquaculture, celebrating innovation, talent and cutting-edge advances in technology. Highlighting achievements in the sector, the awards are judged by a panel of experts from across the industry.

Because of the ongoing coronavirus restrictions there was no physical ceremony this year, with winners were announced on Wednesday 16 September during a virtual ceremony.

Su Cox, Director at The Scottish Salmon Company, said: “We are really honoured to have won the Community Initiative title at this year’s Aquaculture Awards. This win not only recognises the dedication and innovation of the OHLEH project partners but also showcases an excellent example of how businesses can work together to achieve greater sustainability.”

Cheri Arvonio, Event Director at the Aquaculture Awards, said: “Standing out from the crowd is no mean feat in such an innovative and dedicated industry, but our 2020 winners do just that. Big thanks must go to our judges and sponsors for their continued support.  And congratulations again to each of our fantastic winners – you really are the very best in the business.”

The Aquaculture Awards can be watched in full here:

The Scottish Salmon Company is the leading producer of quality Scottish Salmon with operations exclusively in Scotland, with 60 sites across the West Coast of Scotland and Hebrides.  The company is fully engaged in all stages of the value chain from smolt production through freshwater and marine farming to processing, as well as sales and marketing activity.

All of the Scottish Salmon Company's Farms and processing facilities are audited and approved by the internationally acclaimed GLOBALGAP accreditation scheme, which includes excellence in fish husbandry and animal welfare.

The Scottish Salmon Company is the UK’s first salmon producer to be awarded a 4-star ‘Best Aquaculture Practice’ (BAP) certification. Internationally recognised, BAP is the world’s most comprehensive third-party aquaculture certification programme.

The Scottish Salmon Company supports the development of sport in the local communities where its staff work and live. The company’s total staff number over 650 people. The main office is in Edinburgh.