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Ronja Vest becomes 24th wellboat in Sølvtrans fleet

The Ronja Vest will immediately go into service for Bremnes Seashore and Bolaks. Photo: Olav Tokle (Fotomarin).
The Ronja Vest will immediately go into service for Bremnes Seashore and Bolaks. Photo: Olav Tokle (Fotomarin).

The first of four vessels ordered by the world’s biggest wellboat operator, Sølvtrans, from Norwegian shipbuilder Myklebust Verft has been handed over.

“This is a wellboat of 4,000m³. The boat is on its way to Leirvik on Stord where it will be christened on Friday afternoon,” Sølvtrans communications manager Harald Tom Nesvik told Fish Farming Expert’s Norwegian sister site, Kyst.no.

Myklebust shipyard is constructing four new-builds for Sølvtrans to a contract value of almost NOK 2 billion (£168 million), the first of which is the Ronja Vest. It is build number 75 for the yard.

Bigger than predecessors

The first three of the four wellboats on order share the same Kongsberg NVC 389 design. The design is a further development of two previous deliveries to Sølvtrans (Ronja Ocean and Ronja Diamond) where the cargo capacity has increased from 3,200m³ to 4,000m³. The hull length has also increased by 7.2 metres. The hulls are all being built at the Turkish shipyard Hat-San.

The fourth vessel to be built for Sølvtrans is an upsized version of the first three. Among other things, cargo capacity will be increased from 4,000 to 5,000 m³. The well boat will be 92.5 metres long and 20 metres wide. It is scheduled to be delivered to Sølvtrans in the fourth quarter of next year.

State-of-the-art

The Ronja Vest is a state-of-the-art vessel equipped with the best and most modern equipment available on the market, said Sølvtrans in a press release. The company said that it is important to have wellboats with the best equipment that takes care of fish health and fix welfare in a good way. In addition, it is important to have good control over biosecurity and at the same time focus on sustainability.

“By building our wellboats at local (Norwegian) shipyards, making our purchases from local suppliers and investing in the best and most innovative equipment, we achieve exactly this. The boat Sølvtrans has now been handed over from Myklebust shipyard is 4,000 m³ and satisfies all the requirements that the company demands here,” said Sølvtrans.

Next build under way

“We at Myklebust shipyard are proud to be able to deliver the first in a series of wellboats to Sølvtrans. Ronja Vest has now been handed over, and work on the next one is already in full swing. We greatly appreciate the collaboration with Sølvtrans to build and develop the wellboats of the future here in Gursken,” said Myklebust general manager Inge-Jonny Hide.

The boat is designed to satisfy strict environmental requirements. This means it is a hybrid vessel equipped with a large battery pack and is equipped to be able to connect to shore power. It also has what Sølvtrans says is the best fish handling system on the market. 

Immediate contracts

Ronja Vest will immediately begin a contract with Bremnes Seashore, and will also work for Bolaks. 

“Today marks a milestone for us in Bremnes Seashore, when we now have all three well boats in operation,” said Bremnes Seashore chief executive Einar Eide. “Ronja Sund transports fish for slaughter and Ronja Christopher is dedicated to smolt transport to give the smolt the best start in the sea. Now the state-of-the-art vessel Ronja Vest is also in place, a formidable tool for us, Bolaks and other farmers in the region. I look forward to a continued good collaboration with Bolaks and the shipping company Sølvtrans.”

An important tool

Bolaks general manager Bjørg M Holmefjord Antonsen said the Ronja Vest is a long-awaited wellboat.

“It will be Bolaks’most important tool for better fish health in the years to come. Since the wellboat is equipped with the latest technology for optimal handling of the fish, we will be able to choose the best for the salmon whether it is summer or winter.”

Ålesund-based Sølvtrans has 23 wellboats in operation in Norway, Scotland, Iceland, Chile and Tasmania. These include the Ronja Storm, currently the world’s biggest operational wellboat, which is on a long-term contract with Huon Aquaculture in Tasmania. It has a capacity of 7,450m³.