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UPDATE 2-Aker Biomarine orders $120 mln Antarctic fishing vessel
February 14, 2017 / 10:02 AM / 8 months ago

UPDATE 2-Aker Biomarine orders $120 mln Antarctic fishing vessel

(Adds quotes, environmental details)

Feb 14 (Reuters) - Aker

* Aker Biomarine said in a statement it has ordered a new krill fishing vessel at Vard shipyard, order worth NOK 1 billion ($119.50 million) including buyer’s supplies

* Vessel to be built in Norway. Construction is planned to begin in May this year, and is expected to complete at the end of 2018

* According to the plan, the new vessel will be in operation in the Antarctic from the beginning of the 2019 season

* The vessel will replace one of Aker Biomarine’s two existing ships for catching shrimp-like krill. The new vessel is expected to be more efficient and slightly raise the company’s annual catch, now about 150,000 tonnes

* Says remains committed to sustainable krill fishery. Among other measures, “we keep observers on board our vessels to monitor the fishery,” said Kristine Hartmann, executive vice president for transformation at Aker Biomarine

* Says the contract has a financing clause, with Aker Biomarine seeking finance through the Norwegian Export Credit Guarantee Agency (GIEK)

* In a separate statement, the Norwegian government said it will begin to offer financing guarantees through GIEK and Eksportkreditt Norge to Norwegian companies seeking to build krill vessels in Norway. Such financing has previously been reserved for foreign firms seeking to build at Norwegian yards

* Aker ASA owns 99.5 percent of Aker Biomarine

* Norway is the biggest krill fishing nation, with about 60 percent of catches in recent years, according to data from the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. The commission says catches are well within sustainable limits

* Environmental group Greenpeace expressed concerns because of scant historical records of krill. “It has been hailed as almost unlimited ... but the effects of climate change are unknown,” said Truls Gulowsen of Greenpeace. Further company coverage: ($1 = 8.3684 Norwegian crowns) (Reporting by Camilla Knudsen and Alister Doyle, editing by Gwladys Fouche and Terje Solsvik)

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