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Fishing boats are not backward when it comes to adopting technology, as exemplified by a new £6 million trawler equipped with winches powered by permanent magnet engines

Words: Kevin Tester

Earlier this year MAN Diesel & Turbo won an order for three MAN 6L21/31 gensets to power a wellboat newbuilding for Patagonia Wellboat, a Chilean fish-farming operator. The wellboat concept originates from a


desire to deliver a fresher end product. The conventional approach involves catching fish, processing them in situ and preserving them with ice until they reach the market. Wellboats, also known as live fish carriers,

instead serve as a mobile housing facility for them. Fish are collected from breeding sites and transported live to processing facilities nearer the market. Huge pipelines transfer the fish from their breeding enclosures at sea to the wellboat’s storage tanks, which contains water of similar characteristics to the enclo- sure, so ensuring a comfortable ride.

Climate control

The vessels carefully control all conditions in their storage tanks, including water tempera- ture, CO2

levels and water quality, to help the

fish settle and stay calm, minimising the stress factors that inevitably affect fish quality – and taste. There are also cameras in each tank to monitor movement.Though storage capacity varies, most wellboats hold about 1,400m3


water and accommodates up to 180 tonnes of live fish. This recent order for MAN Diesel & Turbo is

the latest in a long history of wellboat references in the Chilean domestic fish-farm- ing industry. The wellboat, the first of a new generation, is being built at Asenav – Chile’s largest, private shipbuilder – in Valdivia. Delivery is slated for May 2016. The MAN 21/31 engine has a solid foothold in other South American fishing markets, too.

Three trawlers ordered by Norwegian-based fishing concern, Copeinca, built at Peru’s SIMA Callao shipyard, were also equipped with six-cylinder L21/31 main propulsion engines. Meanwhile the shipbuilder VARD Group in

Norway has announced a contract for a shrimp stern trawler to be designed and equipped by Rolls-Royce. The $6 million fishing vessel is of Rolls-Royce NVC 374 design and will be around 80m long featuring an ICE 1A* ice-class hull. It will be equipped with a wide range of Rolls-Royce equipment, including a B33:45 main engine, Promas propulsion, and a power electric system with hybrid shaft generator (HSG). The Rolls-Royce package also includes a tunnel thruster, automation, and winches.

Permanent magnetism 180 tonnes

The new vessel will be equipped with fishing winches driven by permanent magnet (PM) engines – marking the first commercial sale of this technology. Permanent magnets were originally developed by Rolls-Royce to drive thrusters more efficiently, quietly and with less vibration. The PM winch engine is particularly suited to applications that combine a need for sensitive control and rapid changes in pull and speed. The vessel’s main engine is the medium- speed Bergen B33:45 from Rolls-Royce. This

engine offers a 20% increase in power per cylinder compared to existing engines in the Bergen range. The engines have a specific fuel consumption of 177g/kWh at full load and comply with IMO Tier II and III rules. They are designed to run for 25,000 hours between major maintenance when operating at average loads. Since its market introduction last September, the B33:45 has been selected to power five fishing vessels. The Rolls-Royce Hybrid Shaft Generator

(HSG) is an advanced electric power control system for conditioning the electrical power coming from a shaft generator. It allows shaft speed to be reduced while maintaining a constant frequency for the electrical supply throughout the ship. This permits greater flexibility in engine and propeller speed variations to maximise both propeller and engine efficiencies by running them at their design points. This has the benefit of improv- ing fuel efficiency, reducing emissions and also significantly reduces operating costs. The vessel has an onboard factory for the production of a variety of shrimps, and a storage capacity of 2,100m3

on specialised

decks for palletised cargo. There are also packaging holds on two decks. The vessel is to be delivered from Vard’s Aukra yard in Norway in December 2016.

water and accommodates up to 180 tonnes of live fish in climate-controlled conditions

A wellboat typically holds about 1,400m3 of

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