World’s Largest on Track for Tas­ma­nia

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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.

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