Samherji performing EUR 20 million in processing upgrades
Iceland-based seafood firm Samherji will complete upgrades to its production facilities valued at more than EUR 20 million (USD 24.5 million).
Samherji has contracted with Valka ehf, also based in Iceland, to supply new high-tech machinery for its production plant in Dalvik, Iceland, by 2019 and upgrade its technology at its plant in Akureyri by mid-2018.
“The deal includes numerous machines for the fillet production that cover the entire production process, from filleting to palletized products,” Samherji said in a press release. “The agreement also incorporates many new and innovative features that will streamline processes and improve production.”
Samherji is a vertically integrated seafood company. It controls a significant volume of Iceland’s fishing quota, operates numerous freezer and fresh fish trawlers, as well as multi-purpose vessels, and owns several whitefish factories. It also runs aquaculture, sales, and marketing operations.
"It has been a part of Samherji´s strategy to work closely with Icelandic companies and bring in new technological solutions. Our collaboration with Valka is the latest example of that strategy, and I'm delighted with the outcome," Samherji CEO Þorsteinn Már Baldvinsson said.
Samherji said it believes the contract to be the largest of its kind ever negotiated in the groundfish processing industry. The comprehensive deal includes nine trimming lines, six water-jet cutters, three graders for fresh portions, and three graders for frozen pieces, plus other related equipment.
"We are delighted with the systems that Valka has to offer, and we believe this collaboration will advance the groundfish processing to the next automation level,” Gestur Geirsson, Samherji’s managing director of land-based production, said. “This new technology allows us to serve our customers even better by providing more customized products that fit the individual’s exacting needs. We are taking a bold leap into the future because we intend to be the leader in producing high-quality fish products, even for the most demanding clients.”
Valka’s new processing technology includes more efficient cutting techniques, the use of x-ray machines to improve bone removal, more efficient product movement and storage, and the use of artificial intelligence to assist with production planning. Taken together, the new technology allows for the creation of new product types that were impossible or impractical just a few years ago, Valka CEO Helgi Hjálmarsson said.
“At Valka, we are grateful for the opportunity to participate in this technological development initiated by Samherji,” Hjálmarsson said. “We are excited to participate in this ambitious project and look forward to delivering a system that creates added value for our customer.”
Photo courtesy of Samherji. Pictured left to right are: Agust Sigurdarson, marketing manager at Valka; Gestur Geirsson, Samherji’s managing director of land-based production; Valka CEO Helgi Hjalmarsson; and Atli Dagsson, technical manager at Samherji