Digital technology leader ABB has won a contract from Arctic Offshore Farming to power its first-ever remote-controlled submersible offshore salmon farm in the Arctic Ocean. ABB will provide a comprehensive package of its leading electrical, automation, instrumentation and telecom technologies that ensure maximum efficiency and minimal environmental impact.
With the global market volume of salmon expected to hit 4.5 million tons by 2023, according to a 2018 report by Research and Markets, the Arctic Offshore Farming project is looking for ways to farm fish in a more sustainable manner. The submerged fish pens are less prone to sea lice which have been linked to a decline in salmon production in Norway – one of the top salmon exporters in the world. The offshore farm located in the Norwegian Sea – part of the Arctic Ocean – outside Troms will have a lower environmental footprint.
The region is more vulnerable to fierce weather and wave conditions than traditional farms that are located inside the region’s fjords. To counter this, ABB is supplying a pontoon ballast water system that will ensure that the fish pens are kept stable in the harsh Norwegian Sea. ABB will also design control and monitoring systems complete with sensors and automation technology that enable the pens to be operated remotely. The entire solution will be in place by the end of the third quarter of 2020.
The farm will also be connected to ABB Ability™, the company’s cross-digital software offering that collects environmental data, including meteorological conditions, ocean currents, oxygen levels and sea temperature. It also monitors the pH at different depths and the amount of biomass in the cages.
“This unique concept is the perfect platform for ABB to share its vision of building a sustainable and efficient aquaculture industry,” said Kevin Kosiko, Managing Director ABB Energy Industries. “The unmanned fish pens will be remotely controlled by a feed barge located 400 meters away. This reduces the need for human intervention and thereby cuts fuel and electricity consumption and will also enable new solutions for fish farming offshore and onshore with a focus on fish welfare, traceability and food safety.”