Blast freezing makes a difference
HB Grandi’s pelagic factory at Vopnafjördur will be running at full capacity this weekend freezing herring and mackerel, in spite of this being a Bank Holiday weekend in Iceland, and according to Magnús Róbertsson, in charge of production, there is no slowing of the pace expected until the autumn when the mackerel and herring quotas are expected to be finished.
‘Production has gone extremely well. We have lost odd days here and there as Faxi RE has been undergoing a major refit and not been able to take part in the fishing, but we have been able to use those days for cleaning and maintenance,’ he said, adding that there are now 120 staff at the pelagic factory at Vopnafjördur, making it one of the largest employers in the region.
According to Magnús Róbertsson, the installation of a new and powerful blast freezer earlier this summer has made a huge difference, especially for mackerel production.
‘The blast freezer means that we can freeze the largest grades of mackerel, which we couldn’t do easily with the old system. The resulting products look very good and the buyers have been impressed. Without the blast freezer capacity, we would have had problems meeting the requirements for the 70% of mackerel we are required under the Ministry’s regulations to process for human consumption,’ he said.
Faxi is now expected to be back at sea in the next few days, possibly even this weekend if the final stages of the refit are completed smoothly. So far this season Ingunn AK and Lundey NS have between them kept the factory supplied with raw material and the return of Faxi will ensure that production at Vopnafjördur will be able to run seamlessly for the rest of the season.