‘Strong demand’: Gael Force Group strikes deal with Dutch shipyard

Editorial Staff

“There is also potential for us to service our international customers, particularly those producers in Norway, Iceland, and the Faroes.”

Aquaculture equipment and technology supplier Gael Force Group has signed an agreement to partner with Dutch shipyard Nauplius Workboats to build a series of feed barges.

This collaboration aims to enhance Gael Force’s barge building capacity, improve delivery times, and offer competitive packages for the vessels, according to a release from Gael Force.

Facing increased demand for barges this year, the Scottish company plans to continue its  program of new and refurbished concrete barge construction at its main engineering yard in Inverness.

Under the agreement, the construction of steel barge hulls, along with surface treatments and painting, will be carried out at Groningen, Netherlands. These hulls will then be transported to Inverness for complete mechanical and electrical fit-outs, including the installation of Gael Force’s SeaFeed system. The barges, with feeding capacities up to 800 tons, will also have options for hybridized power and secondary machinery.

A computer generated image of one of Gael Force’s steel feed barges on site. Image: Gael Force Group

Lean cost base

Gael Force Managing Director Stewart Graham expressed satisfaction with the partnership, citing both companies’ technical expertise and efficient production capabilities.

“Along with our own team’s experience in design and build, Nauplius’ levels of technical knowledge and overall experience in the sector offers us complete confidence that this partnership will bolster our robust and reliable range of feeding barges for fish farming,” Graham said.

“As both companies are running a lean cost base and are very efficient producers, we believe we have a high quality and highly competitive offering. While this increases our production capacity to meet strong demand and we envisage this to be of great benefit to our Scottish customers, there is also potential for us to service our international customers, particularly those producers in Norway, Iceland, and the Faroes.”

One sold already

Gael Force has already begun building two 400-ton SeaFeed barges, with one pre-sold to a major Scottish salmon producer, according to Graham.

Gerrit Knol, Technical Director and Naval Architect at Nauplius, also commented on the partnership: “We are delighted to be partnering with Gael Force on this long term collaboration in support of the aquaculture sector in Scotland, and overseas. Our ship design and build quality is already widely appreciated and we are pleased to bring our expertise into this partnership.”

Marking its fortieth anniversary this year, Inverness-headquartered Gael Force Group is a major supplier of equipment, technology and services to the aquaculture industry. Over the past 23 years, the company has designed and constructed more than 100 feed barges both in Scotland and internationally. The company employs around 170 people, with additional facilities in Forres, Barcaldine (Oban), Kishorn, and Plymouth.


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