Aker’s new krill vessel

18 Dec 2006

Aker BioMarine and Aker Yards have agreed an option for building a vessel for harvesting krill.

The company will build a new, advanced krill vessel at a cost of USD 170 million, which will be ready to enter operations in 2010. Production of high-value krill oil in the first full year of operation is projected at approximately 1,200 metric tons. Over the next two years, annual production will gradually increase to more than double that volume. Krill oil is rich in bioactive components that have documented health benefits for humans, as well as fish and other animals. Krill oil from Aker will thus have important markets in pharmaceutical, food, and aquaculture industries.

“The targeting of krill will change the make-up and direction of Aker BioMarine's activities. For many years, vessel operations and the development of innovative harvesting methods have been the company's focus. Tomorrow's Aker BioMarine will produce valuable, advanced bioactive ingredients derived from marine fauna, for additives to pharmaceuticals, foods, and specialised feed for fish farming,” says Helge Midttun, Aker BioMarine President and CEO.

With two vessels in operation, Aker BioMarine will harvest about 200,000 metric tons of krill annually. The first step in processing is to turn krill into krill meal. Annual production is estimated at 25,000-30,000 tonnes (extracted water accounts for the reduction in tonnage).

A significant proportion of krill meal production is further processed into high-value oils through the use of advanced extraction methods. Krill meal itself is a valuable product with applications far greater than those of traditional fishmeal.

“We have no plans to expand krill harvesting capacity beyond one new vessel,” Midttun says. “Based on 200,000 tonnes of raw material, we have more than enough feedstock to establish efficient and profitable production. Our growth potential is largely associated with increased extraction of high-value end-products and positioning ourselves in new markets, for example, in the pharmaceuticals industry.”

In addition to its krill targeting in Antarctic waters, Aker BioMarine's activities include surimi production in Argentina and Faeroe Islands fisheries.

Vessel details

Vessel type: Krill Vessel
Yard: Aker Yards, Søviknes
Delivery time: November 2009
Length: 144m
Width: 27m
Design: Skipsteknisk, Ålesund