One of the world’s largest salmon producers is looking to the offshore oil and gas industry for inspiration with the development of a semi-submersible fish farm rig designed to move operations further offshore where environmental conditions are best suited for the growth of fish stocks.
The world’s first offshore fish farm installation is currently being developed for Ocean Farming AS, a subsidiary of the Norway’s SalMar Group, one of the world’s largest producers of farmed salmon.
Rolls-Royce said Wednesday it has signed a contract for the construction and delivery of the eight point mooring system that will be used to secure the rig to the seabed at Frohavet, off the coast of central Norway.
Salmar says the rig’s design is heavily influenced by proven technologies used in the offshore oil and gas industry, comprising of a slack-anchored, semi-submersible, rigid structure design with a high degree of stability. It will measure 68 meters high by a diameter of 110 meters, have a volume of 250,000 cubic meters, and will be intended for installation in water depths of 100 to 300 meters.
The development of the fish farming rig comes as the offshore oil and gas industry is suffering through one of its worst downturns on record, leaving many companies looking towards higher growth industries like the aquaculture industry for business.
“This contract win shows how years of experience providing sophisticated mooring and deck machinery solutions in some of the world’s most difficult sea conditions can be applied in other areas of the maritime economy today and for the future,” commented Asbjørn Skaro, Rolls-Royce’s Executive Vice President for Deck Machinery. “The technical solutions for SalMar’s pilot installation is based on the state-of-the-art technology Norwegian industry has to offer from both fields of aquaculture and offshore oil and gas.”
The eight point mooring system to be delivered by Rolls-Royce includes monitoring, fairleads, connectors and subsea load sensing system.
The new semi-submersible rig will be constructed at Qingdao Wuchuan Heavy Industry Co. Ltd in China, and is designed by Global Maritime in Norway.
The pilot semi-submersible fish farm is planned to be completed by the second half of 2017.