The Spanish alternative

Astander Irish pelagic vessel Father McKee in the Astander dry dock at Santander

Sister shipyards located in Santander and Gran Canaria are making a first appearance at IceFish this year.

The Astander yard has more than 140 years of experience, specialising in ship repair, maintenance and conversion – and has an impressive track record behind it, while its sister Astican shipyard is based in Gran Canaria, off the Atlantic coast of north Africa and close to some of the most abundant fishing grounds in the northern hemisphere.

“Because of its proximity to Mauritanian fishing grounds, Astican has for years been a focal point for international fishing fleets in that area, having handled a huge number of vessels from all over the world in its synchrolift,” said the company’s Alfredo Campos. “We have had fishing vessels from Japan, Korea, Russia, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Ireland and other countries coming to us over the years as numerous fishing vessels share the yard’s facilities and services with commercial shipping.”

Astander has a great deal of  experience of conversion projects of various kinds, including a series of major conversions for Canada starting with lengthening a trawler by 11 metres as part of a conversion to a scallop catcher and processing vessel, the conversion of a PSV into a clam harvesting and processing vessel and a second trawler upgraded to scallop handling – all of which brought Astander back to the fishing industry after an absence of some years.

“The successful completion of these three projects encouraged the yard to offer its services to other fishing companies in the international market with the certainty that we could be an effective alternative to the usual yards in Northern Europe,” he said.

“The first results from this came with Father McKee from Greencastle in Ireland coming to us for a 15 days of maintenance in May this year, including full blasting and recoating of RSW and ice tanks, followed by Endurance for a full blasting and recoating of hull, decks and interiors, including metal spraying, maintenance and upgrading, all of which was done in only 16 working days.”

Now the yard is working on a major conversion for Canada, with another PSV being converted to a clam harvesting and processing vessel.

“This means 600 tonnes of new steel for new decks, cargo holds, machinery spaces and accommodation blocks that are already in place, as is most of the new equipment. The special requirements requested by fishing companies match the yard’s capabilities perfectly, making Astander and Astican perfect alternatives to the fishing industry’s traditional shipyards.”

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