Factory trawler Molnes is back at sea after an extensive refit at the Vard Søviknes shipyard, where it has been fitted with some pioneering technology technology to maximise the value of what would otherwise be factory deck waste.
Formerly Roaldnes, the company has changed the name it has traded under since 1917 to Nordic Wildfish and has embarked on an ambitious programme to fully utilise everything that goes through the trawler’s factory deck. Central to this is technology to produce liquid protein concentrate on board from the waste left over from the trawler’s conventional H&G roundfish production, which amounts to approximately 40% of the live weight of fish caught.
A great deal of research and development has gone into the venture, supported Innovation Norway, and Molnes is a step in a more extended process that is expected to result in a new trawler in the next few years, to be fitted with the same technology on a larger scale. Molnes can be seen as a floating test platform for this developing technology.
According to Nordic Wildfish managing director Tore Roaldsnes, the hydrolysing process supplied by Scala and used to produce liquid protein concentrate is a gentler one than that used to produce conventional fishmeal and oil, operating at lower temperatures and able to utilise excess heat from the trawler’s exhaust. As a result, the production cost is minimal. The liquid protein concentrate is in demand from the salmon industry as an ingredient of fish feed, and as a more concentrated product, it is a step higher in the value chain than standard fishmeal.
In addition to the hydrolysis plant on board, Molnes has also borrowed from the salmon industry in some respects. The trawler catches live fish that are delivered to the factory pounds where the least lively fish can be sorted out for processing first, with each haul routed to pounds to be held before processing. Technology used in the salmon industry to stun fish before slaughter has been adapted and installed as part of the processing line on board Molnes, contributing to a higher quality and therefore higher value product.