Rimfrost raises game with construction of ‘greenest’ krill vessel

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

The 120-metre-long vessel will be built by the Westcon shipbuilding group and has been designed by Kongsberg Maritime. ©Rimfrost
The 120-metre-long vessel will be built by the Westcon shipbuilding group and has been designed by Kongsberg Maritime. ©Rimfrost

Related tags: Rimfrost, vessel, Westcon

Norwegian krill processor Rimfrost is to award a €100m (NOK 1bn) contract to Westcon to build a new krill fishing vessel that enables the production of food supplements at sea immediately after catching.

Norway-based ship-building contractors Westcon are committed to constructing the 120-metre-long vessel, which is said to achieve new environmental and sustainability standards in energy efficiency.

“This will be the only vessel in the world where health food and food supplements are actually produced at sea immediately after catching,”​ says Rimfrost principal shareholder Stig Remøy.

“Short and 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.”

Along with savings in energy usage, the vessel, designed by Kongsberg Maritime, follows green technology principles set out by the risk management and quality assurance services DNV GL.

Its Clean Design class notation standards apply for all for new vessels and relies on voluntary compliance with additional Pollution Prevention measures and upcoming Environmental Regulations.

IMO Polar Code

In addition, the vessel also takes the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) Polar Code into account where its guidelines aim to minimise emissions and achieve extensive energy reusage.

The Polar Code, which entered into force on 1 Jan 2017, covers the full range of design, construction, equipment, operational, training, search and rescue and environmental protection matters relevant to ships operating in the inhospitable waters surrounding the two poles. 

“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,”​ says Remøy. “It’s also tailored for research operations.”

Monrad Hide, sales manager for ship design at Kongsberg Maritime adds, “It’s inspiring to partner Rimfrost in such an innovative project.Due to be constructed by Tersan in Turkey, the hull is designed and reinforced with a view to operating under demanding Antarctic conditions.

Due for completion in 2022, the vessel may be the beginning of future collaborations with Rimfrost with the krill processors having the option to build another ship.

The vessel also benefits from a diesel-electric propulsion system that is based on low-sulphur diesel with exhaust gas treatment, which ensures minimal emissions and optimum operation.

Additional technology implemented includes heat recovery from exhaust gases, coolant water and factory process heat.

Kongsberg Maritime also say a high level of electrification will be included to avoid the danger of pollution from the hydraulic system.

Directorate demands

In awarding krill licences, the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries has said preference would be given to firms that include environmental, innovation, research and development considerations within their thinking.

However, in granting these licenses in 2018, The Ministry of Fisheries said, “The operators have chosen somewhat different solutions, but in the opinion of the Ministry of Fisheries there are no significant differences between the applicants.”

“We’ve faced many challenges and obstacles on the way to where we are today,”​ says Remøy.

“So we’re particularly pleased that we’re now putting in place a vessel which we believe will revolutionise krill fishing in Antarctica.”

“This is a happy day,”​ Remøy adds. “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.”

Westcon’s CEO Øystein Matre says, “This will be the biggest fishing vessel we’ve ever built. We’re very proud of the assignment to build a ship which will set a new environmental and sustainability standard.”

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