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The success of the net washing pressure pump has won Macduff follow-on orders worth £500,000 from SSF. Photo: SSF
The success of the net washing pressure pump has won Macduff follow-on orders worth £500,000 from SSF. Photo: SSF

An improved net washing pressure pump has earned Macduff Shipyards more than £500,000 in additional orders from Scottish Sea Farms, the salmon farmer has revealed.

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Long-standing client SSF approached the Aberdeenshire-based firm in 2016 with an early concept for an improved way of removing the build-up of algae and other marine materials from its fish pen nets.

In a press release, SSF said that together, the two companies developed a pressure pump that not only proved more effective at removing build-up but is more reliable, easier to use and more fuel efficient, all at a significant cost saving compared with the Norwegian system previously being used.

Such has been the effectiveness of the SSF 245 Net Washing Pump that Scottish Sea Farms has gone on to commission six units.

Workforce now over 200

Macduff managing director, John Watt, said: “Aquaculture has always been an important part of our business, and working alongside Scottish Sea Farms on this project has been hugely positive both for Macduff itself and the local area where our workforce now numbers over 200.”

On Saturday SSF, which is jointly owned by Norwegian salmon farmers Salmar and Lerøy, said that its commitment to "buy Scottish" wherever possible meant it spent more than £100m across 709 locally based companies in 2017 – up £13.9m on 2016.

Here's one we built earlier: Applecross-based Northwind has started work on a landing craft similar to this. Photo: Northwind
Here's one we built earlier: Applecross-based Northwind has started work on a landing craft similar to this. Photo: Northwind

Another beneficiary of the "buy Scottish" policy is Applecross-based firm Northwind Engineering, which has begun work on its largest contract to date, a £700,000 state-of-the-art landing craft for SSF.

As well as being the firm’s biggest project in terms of value, it’s also its biggest in terms of physical size, measuring 17.5m long and 7.25m wide. Equipped with an Amco Veba crane with a 30-tonne/metre lift, and offering an overall deck load of 35 tonnes, it will be powered by two Doosan engines that offer maximum fuel efficiency with minimum emissions.

The project is the latest in a long line of contracts from SSF that have helped Northwind Engineering grow from a one-man company to a 10-strong team and support four apprentice engineers.

'Fantastic show of support'

Company founder Ewen Gillies said: “We have been working with Scottish Sea Farms almost as long as we have been in business, progressing from carrying out feed barge modifications, re-fitting boats and converting feed barges to the design, build and manufacture of all-new boats such as this latest landing craft.

“It’s been a fantastic show of support in our engineering skills and one that has enabled us to make major improvements such as the addition of a custom-built indoor workshop, where we can stay on-programme whatever the weather, and a new boat hoist, slipway and trailer.”

A third company to have gained a significant order from SSF is Fusion Marine. The Barcaldine-based business has secured a new contract worth more than £1m to supply SSF with 21 100-metre fish pens from its Triton 450 range, along with associated equipment.

Developed by Fusion Marine to meet the demanding tidal and weather conditions experienced at more exposed locations, the Triton pens are destined for two of Scottish Sea Farms’ Shetland-based sites – Teisti Geo and Dury.

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