World’s Largest on Track for Tasmania
Work on what what is being claimed as the world’s largest wellboat is continuing in Norway, ahead of the vessel’s deployment to Tasmania later this year.
The hull of Ronja Storm was launched in Turkey during January prior to being delivered to the Havyard shipyard in Leirvik, Norway for fitout.
Once complete, the vessel will join the fleet of Sølvtrans but work for Huon Aquaculture in Tasmania where it will be used to transport and bathe salmon. Delivery is scheduled for the third quarter of this year, with the vessel to arrive in Tasmanian waters in November. The initial charter is for a period of 10 years.
Established in 1986, Norwegianheadquartered Sølvtrans is the world’s largest wellboat company for transport of live salmon and trout. Its fleet currently consists of 21 modern wellboats, mainly employed on long-term contracts with leading fish-farming companies in Norway, Scotland, Canada, Chile and Australia, where its Ronja Huon already works for Huon Aquaculture.
Havyard notes that Ronja Storm will be the world’s biggest in more ways than just being much longer than other wellboats at 116m. It will also have the largest freshwater production facility, able to generate 16.8 million litres per day. Its capacity for processing and transport of fish will be nearly double that of the average wellboat, with four fish tanks and the ability to load 1,000 tonnes of fish an hour, equating to roughly 3,300 large salmon per minute.
Senior designer Kjetil Myren at Havyard Design & Solution explained that Huon’s fish transporting and processing needs required the large dimensions.
“The salmon must be treated and transported many times throughout their life cycle and bathing the fish in freshwater is an effective and environmentally friendly method. Producing our own freshwater makes the treatment more sustainable, as you avoid using natural freshwater, which is a Photos courtesy Havyard scarce resource, you save time and fuel from not having to fetch it, and you don’t have to filter it. The water is of course reused as well,” he said.
“When the salmon is treated that often, it must be possible to take them out of the cages quickly and with care to avoid stress and reduced growth. This is why such enormous systems are needed to handle the fish. To ensure fish welfare and survival, robust and redundant systems are also incorporated.“
Peter Bender, Huon Aquaculture Chief Executive Officer said: “Ronja Storm is our biggest vessel yet and it will be an asset that will ensure Huon’s long-term success.
The amount of technology that is going into the vessel is truly astounding. It really is the cutting edge of salmon farming.“
Once Ronja Storm arrives, Ronja Huon will be used as dedicated harvest vessel and will be available as a backup wellboat.