Icelandic fishing company orders 4 stainless steel tanks for raw fish storage

Ísfélag Vestmannaeyja hf. is an Icelandic fishing company whose catch includes capelin, herring, mackerel and whitefish. For the last two years capelin has been excluded from fishing quotas, but with the expectation that quotas will be resumed for this special fish this year, there has been a renewed interest in the acquisition of 4 tanks for raw fish storage.

The fishing company submitted requests to a number of companies, including Skipalfytan ehf. (servicing and warehousing) and Eyjablikk ehf. (steel manufacturing), for the on-site construction of these tanks. Initially both companies were keen to fulfil the order, but soon came to the conclusion that the challenge was too big for them to put in a worthwhile bid. For that reason, the company started looking elsewhere for a tank constructor able to make good on the order.

The request
Fridrik Bjorgvinsson, director of Eyjablikk ehf., reflects on this particular phase: “We started looking online for a company that would meet all the requirements and we soon found out that there were only a few competent players on the market. We first had contact with Gpi in early April and a couple of weeks later we finalised the deal.”

The assignment
The job consisted of the engineering and construction of 4 vertical tanks for the storage of raw fish, each with a volume of 560m3. The tanks have a diameter of 7 metres, a cylindrical height of 13.7 metres and are equipped with a conical top and bottom. The latter was essential for proper drainage. The biggest challenge was perhaps the size of the bottom, but through our collaborative networks we were quickly able to find a supplier. The design of the tanks is based on the international standard EN 13445. Because the tanks had to be installed in a coastal zone, they were manufactured from high-quality stainless steel 316(L). This material has a high corrosion-resistance rating which is necessary for saltwater environments.

The tanks were constructed in Gpi’s production facility in Groot-Ammers – a favourable location close to the water – and then transported by barge to Rotterdam. From there they were shipped to their final destination in Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland.

The tanks will be used for the storage of raw fish. The fish are pumped straight from the fishing vessel into the tank where production starts immediately. Given that production is slower than pumping, the tanks also serve as a buffer for production. This reduces the stopover time required for the trawlers in port and increases their fishing times in what is effectively a very short fishing season.

“This project was one of the best I have worked on in the last 15 years”


The collaboration
Fridrik looks back on the collaboration with Gpi with satisfaction: “From day one, communication was excellent. It just goes to show that their people know what they are talking about, right down to the last detail. We’ll certainly be continuing our partnership in the future. This project was one of the best I have worked on in the last 15 years.”

The fact that a successful collaboration can lead to something even more special became apparent when we asked Fridrik if he would use apply his amateur photography skills for our tanks on location in Iceland. He grasped the chance to photograph the tanks against the backdrop of the northern lights with both hands. One evening after the heavens had cleared, he asked the harbourmaster if it was possible to dim the lights. In this way it proved possible to capture not only the starry skies and the northern lights, but also our tanks. The result is quite magical.

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