BELFAST, Maine (AP) — A Norwegian firm that plans to build one of the largest land-based salmon farms of its kind in Maine says it has confirmed that the site is suitable to host the facility.

Nordic Aquafarms wants to build a 40-acre inland salmon farm capable of producing more than 60 million pounds of fish per year. The firm says tests confirm that its planned Belfast site has "clean, abundant and sustainable groundwater" from test wells.

Company chief executive officer Erik Heim has told residents of the Belfast area that the company is now moving into pre-engineering and applying for the state and local permits it will need to begin construction next year.

Maine and Atlantic Canada are already home to salmon farming, but most takes place in ocean-based pens.