Scotland’s biggest wellboat delivered to Bakkafrost

© Christian Cooksey/Braeside Photography
The Ronja Star, Bakkfrost Scotland's latest wellboat

Bakkafrost Scotland has taken delivery of the largest wellboat to be deployed in the Scottish aquaculture sector.

The Ronja Star is a hybrid vessel, commissioned from Norwegian wellboat operator Sølvtrans. It boasts world-leading technology with an FLS mechanical sea lice removal system and the capacity to provide freshwater treatment. It uses a reverse osmosis system for the desalination of seawater, producing freshwater to improve gill health and remove sea lice.

The vessel has been built to handle fish with care, while increasing biosecurity in line with Bakkafrost Scotland’s sustainability strategy, which will see an increase in the use of freshwater treatments across its marine sites on the west coast of Scotland.

Senior management from Bakkafrost Scotland (formerly The Scottish Salmon Company), Angus Brendan MacNeil MP and Alasdair Allan MSP, as well as local government representatives, officially welcomed the Ronja Star at a reception in Stornoway on Friday 18 November.

The vessel has state of the art life support systems, including high-capacity oxygen production, a carbon dioxide removal system, and a water cooling system to ensure the fish are kept in optimal condition during treatment.   In addition, it has an automatic cleaning system, alongside sensors and cameras to monitor fish and water quality.

The Ronja Star is fitted with diesel-electric propulsion and a battery hybrid solution which reduces fuel consumption and emissions, as well as generating less noise.

Ian Laister, Managing Director at Bakkafrost Scotland said: “Our ambition is to become the leading most sustainable salmon producer in Scotland.  The proactive management of the health and welfare of our salmon is at the forefront of our sustainability strategy.

“The arrival of the hybrid Ronja Star reflects and enhances those ambitions. The investment in this vessel will allow us to substantially increase the use of freshwater treatments for gill health, and when required, remove sea lice in a single treatment. This will improve fish health and biological performance.”

Bakkafrost Scotland Chief Executive Ian Laister (Left) and Bakkafrost Chief Executive Officer Regin Jacobsen welcome the wellboat Ronja Star to Stornoway Harbour