Fjord Maritime has recently announced its intention to expand its business to Chile. Torstein Nygård, Global Sales Director at Fjord Maritime, explained exclusively to WeAreAquaculture why the Norwegian specialist in electrification and digitization of the aquaculture industry decided to focus on the South American country and their plan to obtain the necessary expertise.
'Driving the green revolution'
"The reason we are focusing on Chile is that it is the second largest market in the world related to the production of salmon and fish within the aquaculture industry", he tells us. With over four hundred active sites in the country, all of which are currently operated on diesel, it presents a great opportunity for Fjord Maritime to implement its hybrid propulsion systems and help the industry become more sustainable.
Fjord Maritime plans to open an office in the area of Puerto Montt and has already hired 2 people who will be locally present there. The Norwegian company's goal is to install 25 systems in 2023 and sell about 50 systems in the market. According to them, the market in Chile is considered mature for this type of technology, with a strong focus on sustainability, reducing emissions, and addressing noise pollution. Chilean aquaculture companies are willing to invest in green technology that can make both operations and farms more profitable and safer. The company is clear that this need for change in the market fits perfectly with its technology.
'Driving the green revolution' is the vision of Fjord Maritime and they are willing to carry it out also in Chile, starting with Salmones Antártica, a solid farmer in the country. With the first of seven installations already done last week, the future looks bright for Fjord Maritime as the order from the Chilean salmon producer has been going very smoothly and seamlessly, surprisingly enough. Going to be some challenges on the way, but so far they haven't encountered any yet, the Global Sales Director of the company explains. "We had a bit of worrying when we were going to start cause of the internet, cause of our remote but seems to be a revolution down there", he says.
Times of change for Chile
The truth is that Chilean regulations are focusing on making the industry more sustainable and environmentally friendly, making Chile a natural choice for Fjord Maritime. But, in addition, the recent internet revolution in Chile, led by companies like Elon Musk's SpaceX, has ostensibly improved the level of coverage, allowing for better monitoring and remote control of its systems. Something key for the company, as Torstein Nygård tells us.
"We have our own department at Fjord Control where we at all times monitor all of the installations", he explains. "We have 24-hour surveillance. It is under constant control, but we have an operations department that is called ROC, which stands for Remote Operation Center. There we have continuous staff monitoring the systems 24/7 to ensure uptime and to be able to proactively help our customers if something arises".
Again, this makes Chile an ideal market for the Norwegian company to establish itself and build long-term partnerships with its customers. As Torstein mentions, "the importance of being present in a market, not just coming with technology and selling and leaving the country". It is important, he says, showing that they are there to build long-term partnerships with their customers. "It is extremely important, and it lies in our maritime history. We have done it in the UK, we are doing it in Chile, and we are also doing it now in Canada", he points out.
Salmon tax is haunting the industry
The Global Sales Manager at Fjord Maritime says that expanding into other countries where they see potential for profit is part of their strategy. "We need to follow the salmon", he claims. However, the company has Norway at heart and will always invest locally, although he acknowledges that the salmon tax eventually affects.
Torstein takes some time to think when he gets asked about his personal opinion and says, "It's Norway's second biggest industry. So, I think the investment in technology will pause a bit and that is too bad as we are the world leading there". And he continues, "We see investments outside Norway as a direct consequence of regulations. What is a shame is that during discussions you get the impression that there is a lot of money, but this is not true. It is further invested, which builds jobs and secures jobs".
These jobs are not only overseas. They want to hire 5 to 10 new people for operations in Chile and are looking for 50 in total, also with Norwegian staff and experience. According to Fjord Maritime, the world is moving towards using green technology. "We are driving the green transition", he claims. They have ambitious targets for 2023 and believe that the industry is ready for this transition to hybrid or more sustainable technology. And, in that market, according to Torstein Nygård, other players are offering similar solutions, but they are convinced that their focus on service and support sets them apart.
About Fjord Maritime
Fjord Maritime is a specialist in the electrification and digitalization of the aquaculture industry. The company delivers climate technology to aquaculture, with an accompanying service and support department.
The company has developed Fjord Control, a system that provides customers with full oversight of all technical activities at the fish farm and simultaneously collects environmental data. The entire system is monitored around the clock in the company's 24/7 Operations Center.
Fjord Hybrid is a hybrid system developed to reduce consumption and ensure operation on feed barges. With the battery packs we supply as part of the hybrid solution, power will always be available.