This isn’t the first time Vónin has outgrown its home, managing director Hjalmar Petersen said. The company built a net loft for demersal production in Tórshavn in 2005, as well as in Greenland and Lithuania in 2014 – now it’s time for Vónin’s headquarters to follow.
The company has its origins in the 1960s in various workshops around the Faroese pelagic capital of Fuglafjörður, and moved into its present quayside premises back in 1974. That building has been extended several times over the years, most recently with the addition of a storage and repair facility that was built in 2000.
‘Now we’re moving again,’ Hjalmar Petersen said – and the reason for the move is simple enough.
‘Everything is bigger. Pelagic trawls are much bigger than they were a few years ago and we need a better space for both repairs and making new gear. We have outgrown the original net loft in Fuglafjörður.’
The new net factory under construction is located at the far end of the extensive extension that has been made to the harbour in Fuglafjörður, so when it’s complete, Vónin will be the first thing that any vessel coming into Fuglafjörður will see – just as the company’s demersal gear net loft is the first thing you see when steaming into Tórshavn.
The new net loft will have a 115 metre long, 18 metre wide hall for handling trawl gear, providing ore than 2000 square metres of floor space, as well as more storage space for holding stock and the company’s offices when it is completed in the spring of 2018.
‘It’ll provide the facilities we need for handling trawl gear of any size. We have been limited up to now, and have had to do some repairs on really large trawl gears using a disused road just outside Fuglafjörður. That’s fine in the summer when the sun shines, but it’s not ideal in the winter when it’s cold and daylight is limited. The new net loft will also be fully equipped with net drums, power blocks and helper winches to take out as much as possible of the heavy lifting, so these better facilities will also give the workforce a much better working environment,’ he said.
‘It will have space for our administration, as well as allowing us to hold a greater range of stock.’
The old building in Fuglafjörður is being split in two. Fishing company Framherji has bought the older part of the building to house its offices and stores, while Vónin will retain the with the specialised purse seine handling section retained for repairing and storing fishing gear.