Chile's Naviera Orca wellboat operator will receive a new vessel from Norway at the end of next year. Image: Skipskompetanse.

Chilean operator orders new wellboat from Norway

Wellboat operator Naviera Orca Chile has ordered a new vessel from Norwegian boatbuilder Larsnes Mek Verksted, to be delivered at the end of next year.

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The medium-sized wellboat will be the yard’s 68th new build, is based on the design of the Ro Sailor, built for Norwegian wellboat operator Rostein.

It will be the ninth in a series of boats developed in collaboration between ship designer Skipskompetanse, Larsnes, Rostein and Naviera Orca.

400 tonnes of fish

The vessel is arranged for open and closed transport of salmon and smolts, and will have equipment for freshwater treatment, refrigerated seawater cooling and freshwater production. 

It will be 79.3m long, 15m wide and will have a cargo volume of 2,800m³, which gives a capacity for more than 400 tonnes of live salmon.

“This is the type of technology needed in Chile,” said Naviera Orca chief executive Ezequias Alliende in a press release. “The vessel, the technology, the efficiency and the size that are right for our industry at the moment and will be a cornerstone to ensure the fish’s well-being in a cost-optimal way.”

Pressure loading

The boat will have the most up-to-date equipment for zero emissions during closed transport, with monitoring and purification of water. It will have a filter system for collecting lice, UV treatment of water in and out of the cargo holds, as well as automatic washing and disinfection systems. It will provide monitoring, regulation and logging of water quality and other important parameters.

The boat offers pressure loading and pressure release, sorting and de-lousing without the use of a vacuum pump.

The hull of the boat is being built at Marine Projects in Gdansk, Poland.

Court battle

Naviera Orca recently won a court case in which rival Solvtrans Chile was ordered to pay it more than $4.6 million in damages. Solvtrans Chile is appealing the decision.

The case centred around Naviera Orca’s claim that Chilean ownership of Solvtrans Chile was a sham because its general manager Víctor Vargas was able to buy a 51% stake in the hugely valuable company from Norwegian wellboat company Sølvtrans for a sum equivalent to around £100,000. The law states that Chilean shipping businesses must be majority-owned by Chilean nationals.

Solvtrans Chile claims that Naviera Orca is itself a Norwegian subsidiary of Rostein, pointing out that Rostein owner Odd Einar Sandøy also owns a quarter share of Naviera Orca. Rostein says Sandøy’s shareholding is a personal investment and that it has “no interest in Chilean companies or any vessel operating in that country”.