“If we do not get permission to operate a salmon farm on an oil rig in the Norwegian sea, we need to look for opportunities in other waters”

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Viewpoint Seafarm is considering buying the “Polar Pioneer” oil rig, although development licences are not in place.

The Viewpoint Seafarm is a project that wants to reuses oil rigs as a base for large scale ocean-based salmon farming. And it wants to to buy Transocean’s oil rig “Polar Pioneer”, which has long been in circulation in Western Norway.

The redevelopment is expected to cost around EUR 64 million, and the company believes the project can provide 663 man-years during the construction period.

In the summer of 2018, Viewpoint Seafarm was rejected by the Directorate of Fisheries on applications for 20 development licences. The company appealed the decision, but the directorate upheld it and passed it on to the Ministry of Industry and Fisheries for a final decision.

Last month, the Ministry decided to uphold the decision of the Directorate of Fisheries. Viewpoint Seafarm has also complained about this because they believe the ministry has committed a procedural error.

Kåre Olav Krogenes. PHOTO: Maritime Forum for Haugalandet and Sunnhordland

Ceo Kåre Olav Krogenes of Viewpoint Seafarm told the publication Teknisk Ukeblad that it may buy the rig from Transocean, even without development permits. The rig has a price tag of around EUR 2.8 million.

But the rig will be sent to the scrap heap if a deal is not put in place within a short time. Krogenes thinks that this is “madness.”

“Besides, the rig is far too good for the scrap heap. If we are not allowed to operate salmon farming with the rig in the Norwegian sea area, we need to look for opportunities in other waters,” he told Teknisk Ukeblad, but added that he hopes it will work out.