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Aker commissions second new krill ship

19 March 2019, at 9:16am

A new $65 million support vessel for their krill harvesting operations in Antarctic waters has been commissioned by Aker BioMarine.

Plans for the new support vessel, announced today, reveal that the new energy-efficient vessel will be fitted out with a number of key efficiency improvements and environmentally focused technologies.

Aker, who harvest krill for aquafeeds and human health, have commissioned another new vessel, following the launch of the Antarctic Endurance earlier this year
Aker, who harvest krill for aquafeeds and human health, have commissioned another new vessel, following the launch of the Antarctic Endurance earlier this year

To be constructed in China, at CIMC Raffles, Yantai yard, the 168m vessel will be specifically designed to have a minimal impact on the environment. The vessel will comply with the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) Polar Code and replace Aker BioMarine’s existing support vessel, La Manche.

“Protection of the environment is an absolute essential for us, and the design of this vessel has sustainability as a primary focus. It incorporates the latest energy saving and environmentally friendly technologies, such as the hybrid propulsion system, and an advanced heat recovery system that helps to reduce the carbon footprint even further,” says Eldar Vindvik, director of fleet renewal at Aker BioMarine.

The new support vessel will be powered by Wärtsilä’s award-winning 31 hybrid, 4-stroke diesel engine, which holds a Guinness World Record for fuel efficiency.

“We are proud to have been selected to design and equip this vessel. It will be a customised vessel designed specifically to meet the owner’s operational requirements in a challenging environment. It emphasises once again Wärtsilä’s comprehensive strengths and capabilities, as well as our broad offering to the marine market,” says Lilli Chi, managing director of Wärtsilä Ship Design.

Featuring frequency-controlled thrusters, to avoid zero pitch loss and reduce underwater noise, the vessel will also be equipped with Dynamic Positioning capabilities, which removes the need to drop anchor during transhipment, eliminating any impact on the ocean floor.

“We have extensive experience among other in building drilling platforms to the world's most demanding sea conditions. So the construction of the new transport vessel that will face equally challenging conditions in the Antarctica is a project we cannot wait to get started," said Wang Jianshong, CEO and President of CIMC Raffles.

In addition to minimising its environmental impact, the vessel is specifically designed and constructed to be able to face the challenging Antarctic conditions head on.

The new vessel will also feature a custom cargo handling system from Norwegian supplier Aukra Maritime, which will halve the time it takes to load and unload the processed and packaged krill.

“The vessel will be constructed in China where there is unique competence for building such large-scale support vessels. The vessel will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology from a number of Norwegian suppliers, many of them who we have great working relationship during building our new krill vessel, Antarctic Endurance,” says Vindvik.

The vessel is expected to be ready for the 2021 harvesting season.