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Oil and gas firm moves into offshore aquaculture

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
24 June 2021, at 1:35pm

A novel offshore salmon farming facility is currently being developed by Moreld, one of Norway’s largest oil and gas companies.

A preliminary sketch of Moreld's offshore salmon farm design
A preliminary sketch of Moreld's offshore salmon farm design

The group’s new aquaculture division has signed a commercial agreement with Erko Seafood to design and build an offshore fish farm.

Moreld Aqua will concentrate on offshore fish farm design, digital solutions and hybrid battery modules, providing turn-key solutions to support the Norwegian government’s plans to increase the country’s aquaculture production to 5 million tonnes by 2050.

Moreld Aqua is teaming up with Global Maritime and Erko Seafood to solve this challenge by developing an offshore concept that will allow salmon production to be carried out in new locations offshore. Moreld and Erko say they will be working closely over the next months to prove the concept’s advantages and are aiming to build and operate the first pilot.

“We are pleased to see the GM Aqua design project moving forward, we believe that developing this concept that preserves the salmon’s welfare in its natural habitat, is part of the solution to reach the industry’s sustainable growth ambitions,” said Endre Haugland, chairman of Erko Seafood, in a press release.

Moreld Aqua is also developing several other environmental solutions for the industry, including a hybrid battery solution. Units are delivered with Moreld’s proprietary energy management system to allow remote monitoring and control. Delivery and installation of the first hybrid battery solution is expected in the next 12 weeks. Commercial launch of the solution in the market will follow during Q3 2021.

“Over the last 5-10 years, several Moreld companies have strengthened their foothold in the aquaculture segment. Launching an aquaculture business unit is a natural next step for us to expand our presence further and to reach our strategic ambitions,” said Geir Austigard, CEO of Moreld AS.

Helge Hydle has been brought onboard to lead the new business unit, bringing with him over 15 years of experience from the offshore and maritime industry.

“Moreld Aqua will capitalize on Moreld group’s expertise within several disciplines - from energy management to marine operations - to deliver new products and services to the market,” he said. “With the emergence of new and more complex production methods for fish farming, both on- and offshore, we believe our experience from the energy industry will contribute to safe operations and sustainable growth”.