Aker BioMarine to Build New State of the Art Support Vessel

Aker BioMarine vessel - hero image


Aker BioMarine will build a new energy efficient vessel, which will be fitted out with a number of key efficiency improvements and environmentally focused technologies.


To be constructed in China, at CIMC Raffles, Yantai yard, the 168-metre-long vessel will be specifically designed to have as minimal an impact on the environment as possible. The vessel will comply with the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Polar Code. The new support vessel with a price tag of 65 MUSD will replace Aker BioMarine’s existing support vessel, La Manche.


“Protection of the environment is an absolute essential for us, and the design of this vessel has sustainability as a primary focus. It incorporates the latest energy saving and environmentally friendly technologies, such as the hybrid propulsion system, and an advanced heat recovery system that helps to reduce the carbon footprint even further,” says Eldar Vindvik, Director Fleet Renewal at Aker BioMarine.


The new support vessel will be powered by Wärtsilä’s award-winning 31 engine. Offering unparalleled flexibility when it comes to fuel choices, the hybrid, 4-stroke diesel engine, sets a new benchmark for emissions performance and also holds a Guinness World Record for fuel efficiency.


“We are proud to have been selected to design and equip this vessel. It will be a customized vessel designed specifically to meet the owner’s operational requirements in a challenging environment. It emphasizes once again Wärtsilä’s comprehensive strengths and capabilities, as well as our broad offering to the marine market,” says Lilli Chi, Managing Director Wärtsilä Ship Design.


Featuring frequency-controlled thrusters, to avoid zero pitch loss and reduce underwater noise, the vessel will also be equipped with Dynamic Positioning capabilities, which removes the need to drop anchor during transhipment, eliminating any impact on the ocean floor.


“We have extensive experience among other in building drilling platforms to the world's most demanding sea conditions. So the construction of the new transport vessel that will face equally challenging conditions in the Antarctica is a project we cannot wait to get started," said Wang Jianzhong, CEO and President of CIMC Raffles.


A vessel for tough operations 


In addition to minimizing its environmental impact, the vessel is specifically designed and constructed to be able to face the challenging Antarctic conditions head on.


Wärtsilä, in partnership with Aker BioMarine’s project team are all too aware of the particular needs of the new vessel and are also keen to address many of the particular operational needs encountered with Aker BioMarine’s existing support vessel La Manche. 


The new vessel will also feature a custom cargo handling system from Norwegian supplier Aukra Maritime, which will halve the time it takes to load and unload the processed and packaged krill.


“The vessel will be constructed in China where there is unique competence for building such large-scale support vessels. The vessel will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology from a number of Norwegian suppliers, many of them who we have great working relationship during building our new krill vessel, Antarctic Endurance.” 


The vessel is expected to be ready for the 2021 harvesting season. 






For more information please contact:

Katrin Berntsen
Director Communication
Ph: +47 920 54 570



About Aker BioMarine

Aker BioMarine is a biotech innovator and Antarctic krill-harvesting company, dedicated to improving human and planetary health. The company develops krill-based ingredients for nutraceutical, aquaculture, and animal feed applications. The company’s fully transparent value chain stretches from sustainable krill harvesting in pristine Antarctic waters through its Montevideo logistics hub, Houston production plant, and all the way to customers around the world. Aker BioMarine is fully owned by Aker ASA, an industrial pioneer since its establishment in 1841.



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