Ocean Farm Services (OFS) is a joint venture between two well-established players in Shetland, workboat services supplier Aurora Marine from Whalsay and wellboat operator North Isles Marine from Scalloway.
The new service boat, Apollo, is under commission from Stamas Yard Services in Norway and is designed by Marin Design, with input from Aurora Marine director and OFS chief executive Colin Leask. The new vessel will join a fleet consisting of Aurora Quest, of the same design, and the Norwegian-built Aurora, which is also equipped with net washing equipment from MPI.
With a length of 14.96 metres and width of 7 metres, Apollo will have a crew of three and is scheduled to be delivered early summer 2019, said MPI in a press release.
MPI will supply two newly-built net cleaning systems for OFS. The equipment will be delivered to Stamas Yard Services in Haugesund in May this year. MPI has not revealed the contract value.
MPI’s first-generation “Terminator” washing unit consists of wash discs that push the washing unit towards the net it washes by means of a smart thruster solution. The unit is raised and lowered manually, either by hand or by winch, depending on the size of the cage. The Terminator wash unit is still a preferred solution for many fish farms.
“OFS’s goal is to act as a total supplier of all vessel services required by fish farms in Scotland. We are proud that they believe our washing equipment is the best fit for the company’s strong growth ambitions,” said MPI managing director Kåre Myrvåg.
“There is growing demand for salmon worldwide, and salmon producers in Scotland are stepping up their efforts to catch up with Norwegian aquaculture companies that are in the lead and are developing innovative concepts for offshore fish farms,” said Leask.
“This initiative requires even better service levels from companies such as ours and requires that we operate even more cost-effectively than before. This is why we have chosen washing equipment from MPI for our new boat.”