Norwegian krill processor Rimfrost has awarded a contract to Westcon to build a new krill fishing vessel in a contract worth more than NoK 1 billion. Companies in the Sunnmøre region and elsewhere in Norway stand to secure contracts worth half a billion NoK as part of the venture. The 120 metre vessel is due to be ready for operation in 2020.
‘This is a happy day,’ said Rimfrost’s principal shareholder Stig Remøy.
‘We’ve worked for a long time with Norwegian specialists to develop technology which will set a completely new standard for krill fishing in Antarctica in terms of climate-friendliness, sustainability and resource utilisation.’
He commented that Rimfrost has collaborated closely with Westcon and the maritime cluster in western Norway’s Sunnmøre region over the choice and design of technology and equipment.
‘This will be the biggest fishing vessel we’ve ever built,’ said Westcon CEO Øystein Matre.
‘We’re very proud of the assignment to build a ship which will set a new environmental and sustainability standard.’
The 120-metre vessel has been designed by Kongsberg Maritime on the basis of green technology, and satisfies such standards as the DNV GL Clean Design class notation and the IMO’s Polar Code, where all processes are planned to minimise emissions and achieve extensive energy reuse. It will use an optimised diesel-electric propulsion system based on low-sulphur diesel with exhaust gas treatment, which ensures minimal emissions and optimum operation.
Extensive use is made of heat recovery from exhaust gases, coolant water and factory process heat. A high level of electrification will avoid the danger of pollution from the hydraulic system.
‘A contract of this kind will mean a lot for us, and it’s inspiring to partner Rimfrost in such an innovative project,’ said Monrad Hide, sales manager for ship design at Kongsberg Maritime.
Due to be constructed by Tersan, the hull is designed and reinforced with a view to operating under demanding Antarctic conditions.
‘We’ve worked for a long time to ensure that this vessel can conduct the safest, smartest and most environment-friendly fishing operations ever pursued in Antarctica,’ Stig Remøy said. ‘It’s also tailored for research operations.’
In addition to the environmental measures related to vessel operation, assessments by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) show that raw material utilisation will be significantly higher than for Rimfrost’s competitors, while the processes use much less energy. This means the company can catch less krill to obtain the same amount of finished product – which also has a higher quality.
‘This will be the only vessel in the world where health food and food supplements are actually produced at sea immediately after catching,’ Stig Remøy explained.
‘Short, careful processing will be positive for product quality. This will allow us to develop a number of new products as food additives for human, animals and farmed fish as well as for pharmaceutical use.’
Rimfrost expects the new vessel to be ready for operation in 2020 and the company has an option for a second vessel. In awarding krill licences, the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries has previously reported that key emphasis is given to how environmental, innovation, research and development considerations have been taken into account. On the basis of these factors, the directorate concluded on the same occasion that Rimfrost had the best application.
‘We’ve faced many challenges and obstacles on the way to where we are today,’ Stig Remøy added.
‘So we’re particularly pleased that we’re now putting in place a vessel which we believe will revolutionise krill fishing in Antarctica.’