A new plant opened in Murmansk represents the latest in fish processing technology, designed to work with either fresh or seafrozen groundfish. The Murman Seafood plant is the latest to be completed under the Russian government’s investment quotas initiative.
Icelandic company Valka acted as both the designer of the sophisticated factory and the main contractor, delivering trimming lines and an automated waterjet cutter for pinbone removal and portioning, as well as various graders, packing equipment and Manufacturing Execution Software.
This highly automated factory can deliver both traditional blockfrozen as well as individually quick frozen portions.
A group of specialist suppliers from Iceland and other Nordic countries are also part of the factory’s setup, with Vélfag filleting technology, a mince line and IQF systems from Skaginn 3X, and cooling and fluid ice systems from Kapp, while Cabinplant, Seagain, Hillerslev and DSI have also played key roles.
‘Valka made a breakthrough in fish processing by introducing a fully automated bone and portion cutting line that uses a combination of X-ray technology to locate fish bones and waterjet robots to precisely remove bones and portion fillets,’ said Murman Seafood’s general director Vladimir Khizhnyakov.
‘The most modern fish processing plant has been built in the Murmansk region within the investment quotas programme,’ said Petr Savchuk, deputy head of the Federal Agency for Fisheries.
‘This venture has installed the latest high-tech equipment, which will make it possible to produce the high-quality products required by Russian consumers – and of course it is important that there will also be overseas demand abroad.
The Governor of the Murmansk Region, Andrey Chibis, commented that the new venture represents almost two billion rubles of investments and generates close to 200 jobs.
‘Murman Seafood’s people are taking a very professional approach to starting up the new factory and we can already see the determination to have the best product quality,’ said Kristján Kristjánsson, lead process designer for Valka and consultant to Murman Seafood in establishing the new processing facility.
‘This focus is what leads to the most efficient factories. I’m proud to have been part of this project with the people in Murman Seafood and I can already foresee long-term success for them.’
He commented that starting up a new factory like this in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic presents challenges. Some items have taken a longer time than originally expected.
‘But the professional management style at Murman Seafood and the continuing excellent co-operation with suppliers has already made it possible to start production of high quality fish products,’ he said.