This was the message brought to the St Petersburg this week by KNARR Maritime, a consortium of Icelandic firms expert in the fishing vessel industry, launched internationally in April this year but already responsible as a group for upgrading the Icelandic fishing fleet.
The six Icelandic companies involved include renowned trawler naval architect Skipataekni, marine equipment specialist Nautic and wheelhouse maker Brimrún, but also world-recognised fishing plant expert Skaginn 3X. Skaginn 3X already has land-based fishing plant renovation projects under way in Russia.
"We have the technology and knowhow to supply customers with turnkey fishing vessel solutions, so that shipyards can build a fully-designed fishing vessel based on advanced 3D modelling; but what is new is that we are building a vessel around the floating factory,” said Haraldur Árnason, Managing Director of KNARR.
“Our design features a bow section which improves stability but also widens the factory space onboard further forward. The factory’s interior also has suspended rather than supporting beams, which increases clearance significantly for improved lay-out. There’s also a high degree of automation included; for example, the bin-handling between the production deck and the refrigerated holds is an entirely robotised operation.”
Árnason said that the KNARR grouping had delivered design packages for three Icelandic owners to Turkey's Celektrans Shipyard (three ships) and Cemre Shipyard (four). The vessels are around 60m in length and 14m across the beam.
"Based on our experience, we have a very good solution to address Russia's need to renew its fleet. Seven years ago, the Icelandic fleet was the oldest in Europe. There was a need to renew but the old vessels were still making money; this is the case in Russia today, so our case is that even though new vessels are expensive, they pay back quickly.
“Our message at NEVA this week has been that new fishing vessels save substantial amounts on fuel and maintenance, while their automated processes are far more efficient; the quality of the fish they deliver is better and commands higher prices, while newer sub-chilling techniques extend viable delivery by 6-7 days. Furthermore, working conditions for crew are much better, which means less fatigue and more efficiency.”