Bakkafrost’s electric workboat named as best in class

Bakkafrost’s electric catamaran, Grønarók, has been voted the best small fish farm workboat by a leading maritime organisation.

It won the accolade at the annual awards ceremony of Baird Maritime, the world’s largest marine news information website.

Bakkafrost took delivery of the Grønarók from the MEST shipyard in the Faroe Islands last September.

The catamaran is the result of an energy project facilitated by the Nordic Council of Ministers, which aims to find sustainable energy solutions for remote areas.

The vessel was described at the ceremony as being highly functional and very efficient.

“With a relatively enormous working deck, this 15.3-metre vessel is a steel-hulled, aluminium-pilothouse catamaran. Stable, economical and versatile, she is ideally suited to the demanding environment in which she will work,” said Baird Maritime.

“It is a fully electric-driven workboat,” MEST CEO Mouritz Mohr told Baird Maritime. “It can work for a whole day out at the fish cages and return to land in the evening, then it can be reloaded with low-cost power from the existing grid in its area of operations.”

MEST added that construction of the vessel was somewhat hampered by the Covid-19 pandemic. In particular, supply chain restrictions meant that sourcing of key components from overseas took longer than expected.

Mohr added: “Another challenge was related to the limited space on the vessel. The total weight of the batteries was six tonnes and their size necessitated that they occupy two compartments in each of the two catamaran hulls.

“We therefore had to make the boat 30 centimetres higher/deeper to compensate for the additional weight.”

He said the rapidly changing regulatory landscape also called for adjustments in the construction. Amendments decided upon in Norway led to changes in the vessel’s design and battery setup.

When asked to comment on key trends influencing shipbuilding, MEST indicated a demand for larger vessels.

“Vessels tend to become bigger in our part of the world,” Mohr told Baird Maritime. He added: “Our main core business is the construction of large fishing vessels, yet we have seen continued increases in the sizes of the vessels ordered from our company, and this means that we will have to build a newer, larger dry dock measuring 150 metres long, 30 metres wide, and 12 metres deep.”

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