Reykjavík welcomes Engey

HB Grandi’s new fresher trawler Engey RE-91 was formally christened at a ceremony in Reykjavík yesterday and the ship is open to the public today (Saturday) from 1300 to 1600.

Engey was built at the Celiktrans yard in Turkey, the first of three sister vessels designed by Nautic for HB Grandi. Akurey and Viðey are scheduled to be delivered in June and December. The three new trawlers will replace Ásbjörn, Sturlaugur H Böðvarsson and Ottó N Thorláksson, all of which were built 1978-82.

The new trawler was given a big welcome to Reykjavík, with officials, MPs, and ministers in attendance. Iceland’s prime minister gave a welcoming speech and fisheries minister Thorgerður Katrín Gunnarsdóttir smashed the customary bottle of bubbly against the ship’s side.

Engey was delivered in January after a two-week delivery trip from the Celiktrans yard near Istanbul, and made a brief call in Reykjavík before steaming across the bay to Akranes where the staff at Skaginn 3X have spent the intervening few weeks installing the sophisticated catch handling equipment and the unmanned fishroom.

‘We are both happy and proud to welcome this magnificent fresh fish trawler, Engey RE-91, one of the most technologically advanced fishing vessels in Iceland. We will add two more fresh fish trawlers, Akurey and Viðey, to our fleet in the next few months, both of which will be equipped with the same advanced technology as Engey. We expect Engey to leave for its first trip at the end of April,’ said HB Grandi’s CEO Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson.

Engey has been designed with a great deal of the latest technology on board, not least the unmanned fishroom. Catches are sorted, gutted and washed, before being stowed in tubs in the catch handling deck. The tubs are then taken below to the fishroom automatically and fresh tubs are brought up by the same automated system.

Engey also has the option of storing fish without ice, using the Sub-Chilling system developed and patented by Skaginn 3X, which has been tested over an extended trial period on board FISK Seafood’s trawler Málmey.

‘This is the largest development project ever to have been embarked on a fishing vessel in Iceland, commented Skaginn 3X managing director Ingólfur Árnason.

‘New camera technology photographs every single fish, categorising it by size and species. This technology also traces the fish throughout each step of the process, up until it is unloaded. This means we have an unparalleled ability to trace the fish from the moment it is caught up until it is consumed,’ he said, explaining that the Sub-Chilling system for iceless storage chills the fish down to -1°C without freezing it.

‘This method makes it possible to store the fish in tubs without using ice. Skaginn 3X has six patents pending for the processing equipment that Engey was loaded with,’ Ingólfur Árnason added.

To begin with Engey will be storing catches in ice, and the expectation is to make a gradual transition to iceless storage.

After the open day today, Engey is scheduled to return to Akranes for the finishing touches to the catch handling deck from Skaginn 3X’s team, before sailing for its first trip before the end of April.

Engey’s skipper is Friðleifur Einarsson, who comes to the new ship after 23 years as skipper of Ásbjörn, and brings the whole crew of the older trawler across with him.

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