On Tuesday afternoon at the Astrup Fearnley gallery in Oslo, Norwegian salmon-farmer Nordlaks signed a contract with CIMC Raffles vice president, Li Minggao, to build the giant Havfarmen offshore grow-out.
Once derided as “space projects”, Havfarmen is now the second of Norway’s giant, offshore grow-out ideas to find a shipyard in recent weeks.
“This is a great milestone for the Havfarmen project, for Nordlaks and for the Norwegian aquaculture industry,” said Inge Berge, Nordlaks founder.
“The agreement secures priority and capacity at the yard so the goal of releasing fish into the Havfarmen in the spring of 2020 can be reached. Havfarmen will contribute to a sustainable development of aquaculture in Norway, and we are very satisfied that we now move a big step closer to realization,” Berg was quoted as saying.
Harstad-based NSK Ship Design has drawn up the concept together with its client, Nordlaks. CIMC Raffles, for its part, outbid 15 other shipyards from around the world.
“It’s been a long and unbelievably exciting process, and it feels very good that we now take the work from design and development to realization,” said Kjartan Karlsen, NSK Ship’s chief exec.
Up to two million salmon could start doing their rounds in the 385-meter-long grow-out by 2020. That would nicely cap a three-year journey for the charterers and new lessons learned for NSK.
“We’ve had Chinese visiting us in Harstad, and we’ve visited them in China. The cooperation and dialogue between the yard has been extremely good,” a statement said.
CIMC Raffles in in Yantai, meanwhile, has been doing offshore and marine builds for years. Now it’ll build the first of two planned Havfarmen for Nordlaks.
The offshore grow-outs will anchor at sea off northern Norway in an area previously impossible to grow salmon in. Havfarmen is also expected to yield shorter production times and solve some regulatory space issues for leases, as it is hoped the giant barge-like structure will show how the overall environmental foot print of an offshore grow-out can be smaller.
“The continued growth of the aquaculture industry is dependent on, among other things, the opportunity to utilize new areas,” Berg stated, saying the giant investment was the company’s contribution to meeting world food-security needs.
Norway’s Deputy Fisheries Minister, Roy Angelvik, was at Astrup Fearnley to witness the event.
“It’s pleasing to see that the rules on development licenses are now beginning to materialize. Today was the opening shot in the building of Nordlaks’s Havfarmen, one of many projects that’ll contribute to giving Norwegian aquaculture new technology, new knowledge and a development of the rulebook. All of this is important to a continued increase in value-creation and the increased significance of the aquaculture industry for the welfare of Norway and especially for value-creation along the coast,” Angelvik said.