Demand for new fishing capacity
“There’s always something that comes out of the IceFish exhibition,” said Björgvin Gunnar Björgvinsson at BP Shipping.
The company has been a regular participant over the years, going back to 1999 when BP Shipping was instrumental in building research vessel Árni Friðriksson, which was delivered by Asmar in Chile to Iceland’s Marine Research Institute.Since then BP Shipping has been part of the development of much of the Icelandic fleet, and numerous newbuild projects have begun as the result of a conversation at the exhibition.
The company’s most recent achievement has been the delivery of the Westman Islands ferry Herjólfur, built at the Crist Shipyard in Poland, which now serves the vital link between the islands and the Landeyjarhöfn terminal.
“This is the fourth Herjólfur,” he said. “It’s the first ferry project we have been involved with, but our partners at the Crist Shipyard have a long history of building ferries, including for FinFerries.”
He added that after a few very busy years, the fishing vessel market in Iceland has slowed down – but there is still demand for new tonnage.
“There’s demand especially for new freezer trawlers, both filleters and shrimp trawlers, and these could be built in Poland or in Turkey as there are still slots available. We can offer a competitive price at our Polish partner, and as much of their activity is in steelwork for finishing elsewhere, they are keen to take on more full completion projects – as they did with Herjólfur.”
Usually BP Shipping exhibits alongside a partner shipyard – which at the last IceFish exhibition was Hvide Sande Shipyard, which was then about to deliver netter/seine netter Hafborg to its Icelandic owners. The decisions have yet to be taken for next year’s IceFish, but the the Crist Shipyard could be joining BP Shipping at the exhibition. “It’s a great exhibition and it gets better every year,” Björgvin Gunnar Björgvinsson said “Being there means that we are showing our faces, and there’s an opportunity to meet new people and renew old acquaintances – and a lot of overseas visitors come to IceFish. You can stay in touch by phone and email, but it’s not the same. Business gets done when you sit and talk with people face to face.”
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