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Offshore giant looks to aquaculture

Rob Fletcher
Rob Fletcher
25 July 2017, at 4:06pm

Vard is looking to build more vessels for the aquaculture and fisheries industries, during the current slump in North Sea offshore oil & gas production.

The Norwegian specialist shipbuilder and designer posted its Q2 report today, which revealed a loss of 69 million Norwegian kroner (£6.6 million) for the second quarter, 30 per cent deeper than in Q2 2016. 

However, despite the firm’s difficulties, there were some areas for optimism, and the quarter saw the company secure its first ever aquaculture-related contract – for a 60.5 m wellboat for Ålesund-based trout and salmon producer Fjordlaks Aqua. Based on a Vard 8 50 design, it is scheduled for delivery from Vard Aukra in Norway in the third quarter of next year.

This follows on from Vard’s purchase of Storvik Aqua AS – the supplier of feeding, measurement and control solutions to the aquaculture industry – last October. The acquisition means that the Vard Aukra shipyard, where the wellboat is being made, is able to deliver specialized vessels for fish farming with innovative integrated solutions, differentiating it in the market.

Indeed, the Vard 8-Series includes a variety of vessels, platforms and barges for fisheries and aquaculture, able to perform functions such as live fish transport and treatment, fish feeding, and fish farm operations and maintenance.

Q2 also saw Vard confirm a NOK 1 billion (£96 million) contract with Aker Biomarine for a 130m krill fishing vessel.

In a statement on the Q2 report, Roy Reite, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of VARD, commented: “VARD’s business transition continues to progress amidst challenging market conditions. VARD has adopted a two-pronged approach in sustaining its efficiency by fostering and exploring new opportunities in diverse markets, whilst internally working towards stabilizing workloads across the different shipyards. With long-standing experience in the design and construction of highly specialized vessels, VARD is well placed to tap on unrealized opportunities in various new market segments.”