AWARDS 2022 | Best Small Fish Farm Support Vessel – Grønarók – MEST Shipyard

AWARDS 2022 | Best Small Fish Farm Support Vessel – Grønarók – MEST Shipyard

Best Small Fish Farm Support Vessel – Grønarók (Photo: MEST)

Best Small Fish Farm Support Vessel – Grønarók – MEST Shipyard

This Faroe Islands-built, all-electric aquaculture support boat is highly functional and very efficient.

With a relatively enormous working deck, this 15.3-metre vessel is a steel-hulled, aluminium-pilothouse catamaran. Stable, economical and versatile, she is ideally suited to the demanding environment in which she will work.

“It is a fully electric-driven workboat,” MEST CEO Mouritz Mohr told Baird Maritime. “It can work for a whole day out at the fish cages and return to land in the evening, then it can be reloaded with low-cost power from the existing grid in its area of operations.”

MEST added that construction of the vessel was somewhat hampered by the Covid-19 pandemic. In particular, supply chain restrictions meant that sourcing of key components from overseas took longer than expected.

“Another challenge was related to the limited space on the vessel. The total weight of the batteries was six tonnes and their size necessitated that they occupy two compartments in each of the two catamaran hulls. We therefore had to make the boat 30 centimetres higher/deeper to compensate for the additional weight.”

The rapidly changing regulatory landscape also called for adjustments in the construction. Amendments decided upon in Norway led to changes in the vessel’s design and battery setup.

When asked to comment on key trends influencing shipbuilding, MEST indicated a demand for larger vessels.

“Vessels tend to become bigger in our part of the world,” Mohr told Baird Maritime. “Our main core business is the construction of large fishing vessels, yet we have seen continued increases in the sizes of the vessels ordered from our company, and this means that we will have to build a newer, larger drydock measuring 150 metres long, 30 metres wide, and 12 metres deep.”

The year 2022 saw favourable results for MEST. The company’s turnover doubled and the number of staff increased from to 450, having started at 200 seven years prior. New project management and planning processes were adopted in order to increase bottom line.

“Our orderbook has never been so full as it is now, and so we are optimistic about 2023 and beyond.”

MEST believes the aquaculture industry will be driven by quality and sustainability. The Faroese aquaculture industry is focused on ensuring that suppliers and everyone else in the whole value chain are committed to sustainability in light of the favourable reception of Faroese salmon in other global markets.

“The conditions to grow salmon in the Faroes are excellent due to the temperature and the cleanliness of the water that surrounds us,” said Mohr. “In order to increase production, aquaculture companies are now seriously considering moving some of their production to the open sea. We believe this will be very interesting.”

The company also believes aquaculture in Iceland has some interesting growth potential, and the cooperation between Iceland and the Faroes has been satisfactory over the years. This has led to a number of opportunities for working together with partners in neighbouring countries such as Scotland, Norway, and Iceland.

“As for the Scandinavian workboat industry, we see the potential of green power solutions such as batteries,” Mohr told Baird Maritime. “We are therefore following the development of these solutions very carefully.”

For a list of the 2022 “Best Of” award winners, please click here.

Baird Maritime

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