Aker BioMarine, based in Oslo/Norway, has commissioned a new environmentally-friendly krill fishing vessel that will fish in the Antarctic. The vessel will be constructed in Norway by VARD and the hull of the vessel will be built by Vard Tulcea in Romania.
“This is the largest single contract VARD has ever received for a fishing vessel, and we are very happy to have entered a shipbuilding contract with them. This will also contribute to securing Norwegian jobs in the future,” says Webjørn Eikrem, EVP Production and Supply Chain at Aker BioMarine. The total value of the contract is 1 billion NOK, including buyer’s supplies.
The new vessel of VARD 8 10 design is specially developed for sustainable fishing operations in Antarctica. The vessel will measure 130m of length, 23m of beam and will be equipped with technology for environmentally friendly operations. Construction is planned to begin in May this year – and the vessel is expected to complete at the end of 2018. According to the plan, the new vessel will be in operation in the Antarctic from the beginning of the 2019 season.
Krill is a small shrimp like sea species. Mr Webjorn Eikrem, vice president production and supply chain in Aker BioMarine, said the vessel’s operations will be energy efficient, with a bio-refinery capable of processing raw krill material while still in the Antarctic.
The contract is still subject to certain conditions, including usual financing, Vard said. Aker BioMarine develops krill-based ingredients for use in food ingredients, fish farming and animal feed. In a separate statement, the Norwegian government said it will begin to offer financing guarantees through its agencies GIEK and Eksportkreditt Norge to Norwegian companies seeking to build krill vessels in Norway. Such financing has previously been reserved for foreign firms seeking to build at Norwegian yards. Aker ASA owns 99.5% of Aker Biomarine.
Roy Reite, CEO and Executive Director at VARD comments: “This is a very exciting fishery project that we are really looking forward to work with. We have developed a range of innovative vessels together with our good relations in Aker since the 1980s, and also this project is built on good cooperation and complementary expertise within fisheries, ship design and technology.”