Renewal of Aker Seafoods trawler fleet getting a powerful boost

September 20, 2011 17:54

On September 19th,  2011 Aker Seafoods concluded an agreement with STX OSV AS to build three modern trawlers. The trawlers will have a new hull shape, reduced fuel consumption and an increased catch capacity. Aker Seafoods is taking an important step in the direction towards a more environmental-friendly and profitable white fish catch, according to the company.

The investment in three modern trawlers gives Aker Seafoods a considerable upgrade. Up to 30 new workplaces is created through the increase of Aker Seafoods total catch capacity and improved quota utilization. In addition the entire fish will be utilized, says Thomas Farstad, CEO, Aker Seafoods.

Each trawler is 69.8 metre long with a width of 15.6 metre and will contain a plant for deheading and gutting of fish. The trawlers will be configured as freeze trawlers with the possibility to deliver fresh fish for processing ashore. A separate fishmeal plant will ensure utilization of all rest raw-material into fishmeal. The trawlers are designed to catch white fish (cod/saithe/haddock), but may also be used for shrimp trawling. The planned increase in catch is mainly expected for saithe and shrimps.

Energy efficiency improvement is emphasized during the development of the new trawlers. The hull shape is inspired by modern offshore vessels and gives lower resistance in the water. Advanced control systems will optimise the use of energy on board. Diesel-electric propulsion, two main engines, two propellers and the use of electrical winches together with the control system will result in a considerable lower fuel consumption compared to similar vessels. Systems for reduction in waste gases and a double bottom layer of the hull also contributes to the environmental profile of the vessels.

- This is the trawler of the future, says Olav Holst-Dyrnes, Director Harvesting, Aker Seafoods. The development of the new trawlers has been done in close co-operation between STX OSV and Aker Seafoods. STX OSV has presented us with expertise on design and production of offshore vessels whilst Aker Seafoods has contributed with the fishing expertise. Environmental considerations has been emphasized during the development phase and all trawlers will hold a Green Passport and satisfy the classification  "Clean Class" and "Silent F" which means reduced pollution and noise-suppression. Good working-places, comfort and safety at sea for the operating crew has been prioritized during the development of the plant, the cabins and the common rooms. We consider STX OSV one of the world's most future-oriented developers of modern offshore vessels and we are very pleased with the co-operation with STX OSV.

By renewal of the fleet up to 30 new workplaces at sea is created and together with normal, expected retirement of current crew, the company forecasts a considerable need for new staff in the years to come.

The total investment for Aker Seafoods on the new trawlers and equipment is about NOK 770 million. A loan commitment from a syndicate of two Norwegian banks refinances existing bank loans and provides necessary funds for purchasing three new trawlers.

The delivery schedule for the new trawlers is in 2013 and 2014. Three older and less effective trawlers are planned sold.

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