VESSEL REVIEW | Api VIII & Api X – Spain’s Iberconsa adds two newbuilds to Argentina shrimp trawl fleet

Photo: Armon

The Iberconsa Group, an international fishing company headquartered in the Galicia region of northwestern Spain, recently took delivery of two new beam freezer trawlers in a series from local shipbuilder Armon.

Sister vessels Api VIII and Api X will operate primarily off the eastern coast of Argentina, where Iberconsa also has on-shore production facilities to serve some of its international markets. The sisters, which will be based out of the ports of Madryn and Buenos Aires, respectively, will be used to fish for wild shrimp.

Photo: Armon

The acquisition of Api VIII and Api X is in line with Iberconsa’s ongoing fleet renewal program, which seeks to replace vessels that have been in operation with the company since the 1970s and 1980s. Construction of the trawlers was completed within 13 months, a remarkably short time frame even as the start of production occurred during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The newbuilds each have an LOA of 43 metres, a beam of 10 metres, a depth of 6.4 metres, a draught of four metres, accommodations for 30 crewmembers, and a freezer hold with capacity for 412 cubic metres or 190 tonnes. The main engine on each trawler is an Anglo Belgian Corporation 6DZC, which has a rated output of 1,400 kW to deliver a speed of 11.5 knots. Auxiliary power is provided by a Scania DI16 engine that produces 500 kW.

Photo: Armon

The deck equipment includes a Toimil crane and Ibercisa winches. To aid in their shrimp fishing operations, the trawlers are also fitted with advanced systems that can detect Argentine red shrimp in waters teeming with other species such as the hake that prey on shrimp. The other electronics include Furuno radars.

The onboard factory consists of a shrimp processing line with equipment for catch collection, treatment, packaging, and transport. There is even equipment for the proper treatment of waste in compliance with existing regulations.

Photo: Armon

The fish processing facilities include equipment from Josmar and Robopac. Robopac provided the wrapping machinery while Josmar’s contributions to the setup include multiple conveyors, washing and treatment tanks, boxing tables, and a crusher for breaking up any waste into smaller particles for easier disposal. Josmar said the fish processing equipment layout promoted improved ergonomics and ease of maintenance, with the equipment having been designed to be easily disassembled and re-assembled to help reduce the crew’s workload.

The processing equipment used both stainless steel and food-grade plastics in their construction to ensure compliance with the industry’s strict health and sanitation regulations. All processing machinery are hydraulically- and electrically-driven, and highly durable components with improved resistance to corrosion were selected to guarantee that the useful life of the equipment is maximised.

Photo: Armon

Api VIII and Api X have since replaced two older vessels in the Iberconsa fleet. Also, construction is underway at Armon’s facilities on a third beam trawler from the same series as part of the owner’s fleet upgrade program. This newer sister will also operate in Argentine waters with Puerto Deseado in the southern part of the country as its home port.

Api VIII & Api X
Type of vessel:Freezer trawlers
Ports of registry:Buenos Aires, Argentina; Madryn, Argentina
Owner:Iberconsa Group, Spain
Builder:Armon Shipyard, Spain
Length overall:43 metres
Beam:10 metres
Draught:4.0 metres
Depth:6.4 metres
Capacity:190 tonnes
Main engine:Anglo Belgian Corporation 6ZDC, 1,400 kW
Auxiliary engine:Scania DI16, 500 kW
Maximum speed:11.5 knots
Other electronics:Shrimp detection sensor
Fish processing equipment:Josmar; Robopac
Accommodation:Cabins; mess; galley
Operational area:Eastern Argentina

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