Equipment and solution provider ScaleAQ reflects on big contracts.
In a press release, aquaculture supply-chain company, Scale AQ (UK and Ireland) writes that it has had a strong end to the year in the UK, with recently appointed General Manager, Graham Smith, citing “A Year of Firsts”, in spite of the challenges arising due to the Covid19 Pandemic.
Smith said he was pleased with the overall performance and development of the UK operation since his start in July this year and believes that this demonstrates the resilience of the aquaculture sector and the continuous commitment by Scale AQ clients, to invest further.
“Revenues have remained in-line with 2019 figures despite trading under the current pandemic restrictions, and I expect the year to end on-budget,” he said.
He said that record barge sales, two bespoke Thermolicers, and Hybrid innovation have shown Scale AQ “to be fully focused on assisting their clients”.
A Turnkey package for Scottish Sea Farms’ Hunda site in Orkney, was the first barge sale of the year, followed by the Scottish industry’s first Hybrid barge, sold to Loch Duart, due to enter service in Spring 2021.
Trout farmers Kames Fish Farming recently purchased a 300-tonne barge, to be delivered in June 2021. Group Chief Commercial Offer, Stig Førre commented that 2020 has been a record year for barge sales into the Scottish industry.
As a group, Scale AQ wrote that it was “aware that the aquaculture industry of the future depends on technological advance, market demand and the ever-developing political and regulatory environment”.
“It is with this in mind that the new Hybrid Barge solution for Loch Duart was designed. This bespoke system combines batteries and diesel engine power to reduce environmental emissions and to improve the immediate working environment. It also uses an in-house designed Environmental Management System and Simulation Tool to enable Scale AQ to customize the barge to individual farm requirements,” it added.
With similar environmental considerations in mind, and working towards the SSPO’s new Scottish Salmon Sustainability Charter, Scale AQ added that it has been working closely with Mowi Scotland to bring increased Thermolicer capacity to the Scottish industry. To this end, a new vessel, owned and operated by Inverlussa Marine Services, is currently being built in Holland by Nauplius Workboats and will be delivered in 2021.
Both the design and execution phase, has been dependent on an intensive collaboration of experts, including Mowi, SSF, Thistle Engineering, ScaleAQ and Ocean Kinetics (for the specific layouts of the treatment system) and Inverlussa Marine Services who are providing an operational, highly economical vessel.
Commenting on the long-term outlook for the company in the UK, Smith sees many opportunities ahead, in both Scotland and Ireland: “The long-term success of aquaculture is vital to rural economies and supports many jobs in farming, processing, and the supply chain. Having been part of the industry since 1986 and recently moved from production into the equipment and service side of the industry, I strongly believe that ScaleAQ is well-placed to support the sector going forward with its large portfolio of products.
“The Scottish Government has a vision to grow aquaculture by 2030 and alongside this vision for growth, the new Scottish Salmon Sustainability Charter, calls for a focus on the highest standards of animal welfare, to reduce further, the carbon footprint of farms and to minimise the impact on the marine environment. ScaleAQ’s focus is to assist our clients to achieve the requirements of the Charter by providing the R&D, technology, and local, geographically-specific advice with a sustainable and innovative approach,” concluded Smith.