Norwegian aquaculture company Salmar Farming has recently launched the world’s first electric aquaculture support vessel. The newly christened Elfrida uses batteries and power electronics from Siemens, which are charged overnight, and provide ample power to run throughout the day.

Norwegian battery technology continues to show its robust nature in the workboat industry, reducing costs through improved efficiency. Best of all, the technology also helps reduce fossil fuel use and greatly improve working conditions.

Please read the following article by Teknisk Ukeblad for more details and a video of the vessel on her trial run.

Norwegian innovation is, once again, leading the world with electric marine solutions.

Meet Elfrida – The World’s First Electric Fish Farm Vessel

By Tore Stensvold, Published February 8, 2016. Link to original article in Norwegian here

Salmar farming has launched the world’s first full electric workboat for the fish farming industry. Elfrida is going to be used by Salmar Farming at the fish farm Kattholmen, which is about 50 minutes from shore with a speed of 8.5 knots. The vessel will be able to operate a full day on battery and recharge at night. The 13.5-meter-long catamaran was christened at Frøya today. It is built on the island by Ørnli Slipp. Siemens has supplied the battery electric system, based on years of experience with hybrid offshore vessels and electric ferries.

Environmental Ambition

Technical Manager at Salmar Farming, Eskil Bekken, said Elfrida will work under the same conditions as any catamaran of 13.5 meters. According to Bekken, Salmar is working towards for a more environmentally friendly fish farming industry, and has set itself the goal of becoming the industry’s most energy-efficient fish farming company.

-I am confident that Elfrida will be a even better vessel than conventional vessels we have in operation. Additionally, we are spared of exhaust and noise, said Bekken in a press release.

He believes it was time that aquaculture took on a new technology.

-Now it’s finally aquaculture’s turn to be electrified, and we are doing it with technology that has been proven offshore, says Bekken.


Capacity Building

Ørnli Slipp has with this project gained new skills that can contribute to more projects for more environmentally friendly fish farming industry.

-For us it is very important that we are part of the development and can build competencies needed now, and for years to come, says CEO Torstein Yttersian at Ørnli Slipp AS.

Siemens has based their expertise on several years of experience, both within hybrid offshore vessels, the battery ferry Ampere and the electric-hybrid fishing vessel Karoline. The battery and energy management system is developed by Siemens in Trondheim.

-The first work boat is an important milestone for us. We see opportunities in a growing market. We have shown that the technology is robust, reduces costs and is environmentally friendly. We are proud that the technical solutions now will stick in a new segment where Norway has a leading position in the world, says sales director Odd Moen.

Public Support

The project has received two million NOK from Enova.

– Having in mind that more and more fish farming operators are replacing their diesel generators with shore power, we are very excited about Salmar’s pilot project. An electric hybrid plug-in fish farming vessel that can charge from shore power and at feed barges, represents something completely new, says Enova transport Marketing Petter Hersleth.

If Salmar succeeds, it can have serious implications for the aquaculture industry, he said.

– We are pleased that Salmar is leading the way, and show how the industry can reduce the use of fossil fuels, and are proud to contribute to this ambitious project being realized, says Hersleth.

Salmar Farming, headquartered at Frøya, is one of the world’s largest companies within production and processing of salmon, with activities in Central and Northern Norway. Company turnover in 2015 was approximately 7.3 billion, and they have around 1,300 employees.