Largest ves­sel due for de­liv­ery

Otago Daily Times - - BUSINESS & MONEY - SI­MON HART­LEY si­mon.hart­ley@odt.co.nz

NEW Zealand’s largest fish­ing ves­sel, the $70 mil­lion, 81.7m long Tokatu, is due to ar­rive in Nel­son to­day, fol­low­ing its sixweek de­liv­ery voy­age from Nor­way.

De­scribed as state­of­the­art, Tokatu is the first ves­sel added to the coun­try’s deep­wa­ter fleet in more than 20 years and is de­signed to fish for all species. It pro­duces its base prod­ucts at sea.

The ves­sel will be based in Nel­son but is ex­pected to make reg­u­lar calls at Dunedin.

Tokatu was built over 16 months, for Sealord, by Simek ship­yard in Flekke­fjord, Nor­way.

Fol­low­ing sea tri­als, the ves­sel set off on its de­liv­ery voy­age, via the Panama Canal, which has taken about six weeks.

Sealord chief ex­ec­u­tive Steve Yung said Tokatu was equipped with en­ergy­pro­duc­tion equip­ment which would al­low the ves­sel to be driven by elec­tric­ity. It would also hold fuel sav­ing tech­nol­ogy and new ‘‘pre­ci­sion seafood har­vest­ing’’ tech­nol­ogy, he said.

Sealord’s share­hold­ers are Maori­owned Moana New Zealand (Aotearoa Fish­eries) and Ja­pan’s Nip­pon Suisan Kaisha, which are com­bin­ing cash and bank debt to fund the $70 mil­lion project.

Tokatu will com­plete fi­nal test­ing in Nel­son be­fore go­ing to work on its maiden, four­week fish­ing trip off the South Is­land’s West Coast.

It is ex­pected to range as far north as New Ply­mouth, and to also travel along both coasts of the South Is­land, into sub­antarc­tic wa­ters, and east around the Chatham Rise.

The ves­sel re­quires about 50 crew for each voy­age, split into two shifts be­cause the ves­sel some­times op­er­ates 24/7, plus a full turn­around crew of 50 more on­shore.

The name Tokatu comes from from the Maori proverb Te toka tu moana: the rock that stands in the ocean, a bul­wark against ad­verse cir­cum­stances.

A

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

Mak­ing way . . . Sealord’s new $70 mil­lion un­der­goes sea tri­als in Nor­way in March.

fish­ing

ves­sel

Tokatu

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