Aquaculture is providing employment at Norwegian shipyards.
Salmon are important to shipyards, too. Of 155 vessels now under construction at Norwegian shipyards, 43 have been ordered by the aquaculture sector, including workboats, de-licing barges, shunting boats, factory vessels and wellboats.
The many aquaculture orders suggest invest appetites and business cycles haven’t cooled yet for this segment, even though salmon prices have come down somewhat from the highs of first-half 2017.
Among those noticing the spike in demand from aquaculture is traditional offshore service vessel builder, Vard. The company’s Aukra yard is building two barges for Cermaq, but units have been ordered from Fjordlaks Aqua, Midt-Norsk Havbruk and Icelandic fish-farmer, Laxar.
The heaviest individual order has gone to Havyard Shipyard, and Oslo-listed outfit is already underway building the world’s largest wellboat, Solvtrans’s Ronja Storm, which will be fitted out at Havyard Leirvik.
According to Solvtrans boss, Roger Halsebakk, the 116-meter Ronja Storm will cost NOK 500 million to build. With tanks that hold 7.450 cubic meters of fuel, the Ronja Storm will work a 10-year job for Huon offshore Australia in Tazmania.
Speculative and organic
The fast-growing Aalesund shipping company, Solvtrans, also has a wellboat being built at its faithful old supplier, Aas Mekaniske Verkstad, with options on another of the same type.
Among those building on speculation is Promek from the island community of Smoela. They’re building six fish-farm service vessels for future sale financed with their own reserves of cash. Promek is building a 14.50 m workboat for salmon-farmer, Kobbvaaglaks.