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Ocean Farm Services orders net cleaning units. Shetland-based Ocean Farm Services has turned to Norwegian technology company MPI (Multi Pump innovation) to supply net cleaning units for the new joint venture company’s first service vessel.

Ocean Farm Services (OFS) is a joint venture between two well established local Shetland companies, Whalsay-based Aurora Marine and Scalloway-based North Isles Marine.

The new boat, Apollo, is commissioned from Stamas Yard Services in Norway and designed by Marin Design. She will join the Aurora Quest of the same design, and OFS’ third net washing vessel, the Norwegian built Aurora, which is also fitted with a full MPI cleaning package. With a length of 14.96m breadth of 7m, and draught of 3.15m, the Apollo will have a crew of three. Delivery is scheduled for early summer 2019.

MPI will deliver two net cleaning systems  to OFS’ newbuild service vessel, a Racemaster 3.0 net cleaning robot and a Terminator net cleaning unit. The equipment will be delivered to Stamas yard Services yard in Haugesund, Norway, in early May this year. MPI has not disclosed the value of the contract.

“OFS’ objective is to operate as a one-stop-shop for all vessel services required by salmon farms in Scotland. We are proud that they believe our net cleaning units are best suited to match the company’s strong growth ambitions,” says Kåre Myrvåg, CEO of MPI.

The Racemaster 3.0. is one of the fastest net cleaners in the world. A cleaning width of 1.9 metres and four drums enables the robot to stretch the nets, which in turn improves climbing and cleaning performance and manoeuvrability on baggy nets and during challenging conditions.

MPI’s  first generation “Terminator” net cleaner, meanwhile, consists of cleaning discs that through an ingenious thruster solution pushes the washing unit towards the cage net when washing. The unit itself is pulled up and down either manually by hand or by winch, depending on the size of the cage. The Terminator is still a favoured solution for many fish farmers.

Both units have been designed for easy access, which allows operators to maintain it on site without the need for an external technician.

“There is a growing demand for salmon around the world, and salmon producers in Scotland are stepping up their game to catch up with Norwegian fish farmers who are currently at the forefront of creating innovative concepts for large offshore farms. This drive demands even greater service levels from companies such as ours, and requires us to operate even more cost effectively than before. That is why we have gone for MPI’s net washing units for our new vessel,” says Colin Leask, managing director of Ocean Farm Services.

MPI develops and manufactures net cleaning systems for the aquaculture industry worldwide. The company is the global market leader for net cleaning systems. In total, MPI has supplied more than 700 net cleaning systems worldwide. The Racemaster 3.0 follows in the footsteps of the first generation Terminator net cleaning system and the second generation R.O.N.C. – remotely operated net cleaner.

Illustration courtesy Marine Design.