130 metres long and built at a cost of NoK1.10 billion (€113 million), Aker BioMarine’s new krill catcher is the first purpose-built vessel of its kind in the world, and its construction has been a venture on an ambitious scale.
Antarctic Endurance has been built at Vard in Norway, using a hull constructed at its yard in Romania, and fully outfitted in time for the 2019 Southern Ocean krill season. It was christened at a ceremony in Ålseund yesterday with the air filled with whirling snow.
Other krill vessels have so far without exception been converted from either fishing or cargo roles, but Antarctic Endurance breaks the mould in this respect, having been designed fro the outset as a dedicated krill catcher and processor.
According to the company, more than forty sub-contractors have been involved in completing Antarctic Endurance and more than nine hundred people have taken part in the venture during its two-year construction period.
‘We have used all our experience and knowledge realise our ambitions and operational needs for a vessel of this type. This is something we could only have dreamed of when we started our own adventure in Antarctica more than a decade ago,’ said AkerBioMarine CEO Matts Johansen.
‘Antarctic Endurance is designed and engineered specifically for our operation, she is energy saving and equipped with a range of environmentally friendly technologies implemented through the involvement and input of our experienced crew. This is a unique vessel in every way and our very first specially built krill vessel.’
As the price tag would indicate, the ship is packed with technology, including a new design of active rolling damping system from MRPC. This is intended to mitigate the effects of vessel motion, allowing work on the processing deck and in the ship’s laboratories to continue under any weather conditions.
The harvesting system uses a pair of beam trawls deployed from derricks amidships, and is designed to harvest krill while also eliminating by-catches of non-target species. Rapp Marine supplied the trawl winches, hose and net drum, as well as the mooring and anchor winches. Aukra Maritime supplied the unloading and deck cranes, plus the range of transverse and beam cranes for cargo handling.
Operating in distant waters calls for significant capacities, and Antarctic Endurance has 2300 cubic metres of fuel tank capacity and can carry 400 tonnes of fresh water. The 6300 cubic metre cargo space can hold 3150 tonnes.
The main engine is an MAK 12VM32E, developing 6720kW at 720rpm. Rolls-Royce supplied the propulsion system with a two-step reduction gear, steering gear, rudder, azimuthing thruster and tunnel thruster. Auxiliary engines are an MAK 6M32E delivering 3300kW at 720rpm, plus a pair of Caterpillar C32 s and a C18 harbour set.
According to the company, Antarctic Endurance is as much as 30% more energy efficient than other trawlers, as its energy management system has been designed to optimise energy consumption in production and to recover heat, while the boiler and engines are optimised for minimal energy consumption
Antarctic Endurance’s skippers are Hans-Jan Leithe and Arnljot Wågsholm, who will be taking the new ship to start fishing in the Southern Ocean