Moreld bringing North Sea oil sector expertise to aquaculture sector
Taking advantage of the Norwegian government’s ambitions for the country’s fish farms to produce five million metric tons (MT) of sustainable seafood by 2050, Stavanger, Norway-based industrial group Moreld launched Moreld Aqua in June 2021. The new company will provide advisory services and turnkey solutions to support sustainable growth in the aquaculture industry; a growth that needs to reach four times the current level of production if Norway’s target is to be achieved.
The new venture is led by Helge Hydle, who has more than 15 years’ experience in the offshore and maritime industries. Hydle, named Moreld Aqua’s senior vice president, said the company will seek to apply new production technologies to help fish farmers reduce the environmental footprint of their farms.
“Moreld Aqua will capitalize on Moreld group’s expertise within several disciplines, from energy management to marine operations, to deliver new products and services to the market,” Hydle said in a press release. “With the emergence of new and more complex production methods for fish farming, both on[shore] and offshore, we believe our experience from the energy industry will contribute to safe operations and sustainable growth.”
Moreld Aqua has set a 40 percent revenue growth target for the business in the short term, and Hydle said key to reaching that ambitious target is its in-house access to competitive technologies used within offshore fish-farm design, along with digital solutions, recirculating aquaculture system technology, and hybrid battery modules.
In one of the company’s first signed contracts, Moreld Aqua will partner with Bergen, Norway-based Erko Seafood to design and build an innovative offshore fish farm. The concept, entitled GM Aqua design, will benefit from specialist input from marine, offshore, and engineering consultancy Global Maritime, Moreld Aqua said.
Created out of the merger of service companies centered on the North Sea offshore oil industry, Moreld said it believes it can transfer its knowledge and experience working in those harsh environmental conditions to the successful expansion of aquaculture into new areas of the ocean. The company said the goal with GM Aqua is to design a system robust enough to enable salmon farming to take place in areas of higher wave exposure and bad weather. It hopes to begin trials on a pilot system within the next few months.
“We are pleased to see the GM Aqua design project moving forward,” Erko Seafood Chairman Endre Haugland said. “We believe that developing this concept, which preserves the salmon’s welfare in its natural habitat, is part of the solution to reaching the industry’s sustainable growth ambitions.”
Erko Seafood, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bergen-headquartered Haugland Gruppen, has 10 licenses to produce salmon and trout, which together have a production capacity of around 12,500 MT.
Moreld Aqua also has high ambitions for its SCADA+ product, a digital operation for managing the entire value chain of an aquaculture operation. The product “provides dashboards and easy access to big data with seamless integration for decision support and visualization” and was “developed for optimized production and maximum quality with sustainable focus,” the company said.
Moreld Aqua also has introduced a new approach to the land-based aquaculture sector with the introduction of prefabricated aluminum tanks that are delivered fully assembled to clients.
“This allows for efficient production and parallel construction activities, together with easier operation and maintenance. The unit comes with groundbreaking new RAS technology [for] water treatment and monitoring,” the company said.
Moreld Aqua is also working on a hybrid battery that it said will help to lower the carbon footprint of traditional fish farms. The batteries will be managed through Morel’s proprietary energy management system, which allows remote monitoring and control. The first battery solution is expected to be installed within the next few weeks, with a commercial launch to follow.
Moreld is hoping to transfer the expertise gained from its experience in the energy sector into a focus on lowering the aquaculture industry’s carbon emissions.
“As the energy sector prepares for a transition towards a low-carbon future, Moreld aims to establish itself as a leader in providing end-to-end sustainable solutions to all energy industries,” it said. “Moreld will seize opportunities to increase its foothold in sectors such as aquaculture, offshore wind, and other relevant renewable energy sectors, whilst continuing to nurture existing energy service operations. The group’s diversified offering and experience from several decades in the oil service sector will be leveraged to provide invaluable operational know-how in the transition to a sustainable energy services sector.
Photo courtesy of Moreld Aqua