“The heart skips a beat every time we get updates on how close Havfarm is to getting home”

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Nordlaks’ ocean farm is now in Norwegian waters.

In early April, Nordlaks’ Havfarm was loaded for shipping to be brought home to Norway. Now, after nearly two months’ journey from China, the giant fish farm – one of the largest moored floating structures in the world – is just a few days away from Hadsel, Nordland, Northern Norway.

The sea farm is expected to arrive on Saturday 13 September. June. The 385m long ocean farm named  “Jostein Albert” weighs 33,000 tonnes and can hold two million salmon. 

“The heart skips a little every time we get updates on how close the Havfarm is to getting home. There are only three Nordlaks employees who have seen Havfarm as finished as it is now, so now there are lots of us who are excited to see it with their own eyes,” said Nordlaks project manager Bjarne Johansen, in a message posted on the company’s website.

Havfarm in China. PHOTO: Nordlaks

It has been five years since the Havfarm project started.

“In addition to all our wonderful colleagues in Nordlaks, there are very many who have both been involved in and in other ways supported the project for so long. to be better at producing salmon and thus also create even more activity both in Nordlaks and in the region going forward,” continued Johansen.

Have to wait to show off
It was the heavy cargo vessel “BOKA Vanguard” that was given the special assignment of transporting Havfarm to Norway. Nordlaks is now ready to receive Havfarm at the locality Ytre Hadseløya in Vesterålen, north of the Arctic Circle.

On Thursday morning ,”BOKA Vanguard” (in green), with Havfarm on board, near western coast of Norway. Map: Marine Traffic

In the first two weeks after arrival, a major operation will be underway to anchor the ocean farm and connect it to shore to be powered. SalmonBusiness has reported that over seven-kilometres of power cable to Nordlaks’ Havfarm have been put in place.

“Although the Havfarm is now arriving at Hadsel, some work remains to be done before completion. Due to the coronavirus, there were delays at the yard which meant that part of the work had to be postponed until after arriving in Norway. So when Havafarm is anchored, Nordlaks together with a number of suppliers will begin the work that remains,” Nordlaks wrote in the message.

“It will be a hectic period ahead, so unfortunately there will be no opportunity for anyone but the crew and suppliers to board,” said head of communications Lars Fredrik Martinussen.

“Of course we think it’s sad, because we know there’s a lot of interest in the project, and we want to showcase the Havfarm. However, we must now first prioritise completion and operation. Eventually we will be able to give people a better insight into what it looks like on the sea farm itself and how we work out there,” explained Martinussen.

Asks spectators to keep their distance
For the work to be done, Nordlaks hired four larger offshore anchor handling vessels, as well as three smaller tugboats that together will take care of towing the giant from the cargo vessel “BOKA Vanguard” and so on to the locality. This is largely the same type of boats that were hired for the installation of moorings last year. The same vessels will also take care of the further installation at the locality.

“The process for reception and installation shall be completed within the first two weeks after Havfarm has arrived at Hadsel. Then it will be connected to both moorings and onshore power cable, and we are then ready to start remaining works on board,” said Bjarne Johansen.

There will be a comprehensive operation for the reception, unloading and installation of Havfarm at the locality. Many large vessels are also involved, and Nordlaks encouraged other boats to keep a safety distance of at least 500m to Havfarm and the vessels involved in the operation.