Fjord Maritime strengthen their Scottish presence with local cooperation

Norwegian aquaculture technology supplier Fjord Maritime are delighted to announce their cooperation agreement with Scottish aquaculture consultants Northern Light. Northern Light will assist Fjord Maritime to develop their UK presence following the opening of their UK office in Fort William this month.

Magnus Hamnes Salbu, has also recently joined the team as Sales Manager. Magnus will be responsible for the UK market and strengthening relationships with our valued UK clients, he looks forward to meeting existing and potential new clients in due course. 

As the aquaculture industry grows, it becomes increasingly difficult to power fish farms in a sustainable manner. The sectors limited options to produce power in remote farm locations currently results in the sector mainly relying on diesel generators. This is further compounded with exceptional increases in fuel costs comprise a substantial part of expenses for aquaculture operators.

FJORD HYBRID® reduces fuel consumption in fish farms by up to 60 per cent. The solution automates power supply and optimises use of generators, batteries, electrical drives, and control systems.

FJORD HYBRID® uses the spare capacity left on the generator to charge the batteries while the generator feeds the rest of the barge with electricity. When the batteries are fully charged, the generator stops and FJORD HYBRID® operates the system and the site runs fully on batteries.

Supported by the FJORD CONTROL platform, the digital system logs, calculates and presents operating data from any type of fleet. Ensuring there is “eyes” on all installations 24/7 and can troubleshoot, fix, and update software and diesel generators etc. Digitization of operational data is essential to optimize operations and further reduce energy consumption. Through this software it can used to calculate and demonstrate the carbon reduction impact per month per system.

In May, Fjord Maritime were honoured at the Aquaculture UK Awards in Aviemore, receiving the Environmental Impact award for the Fjord Hybrid system.  To date Fjord Maritime have successfully installed 120 hybrid-power systems for feed barges, mostly in Norway.  Fjord are working hard to develop their business in the UK with 3 systems already successfully installed.  Always looking ahead, the target for 2022 is 20 installations in the UK with the ultimate goal to install a  Fjord Hybrid solution on every barge. It is an ambitious target but an important one if the industry is to grow sustainably.

Fjord Maritime win Environmental Impact Award @ Aquaculture UK 2022 Awards in Aviemore.

They also intend to increase their Canadian presence with the first installation due imminently.

Fjord Maritime CCO, Øyvind Bakke comments; “We are very much looking forward to entering the Scottish market. To be able to help aquaculture in the UK with our hybrid solution is a great opportunity for us, and it’s going to be even more exciting now that we got our office up and running in Fort William. For us it was an obvious decision connecting and collaborating with Northern Light. We know they are experts in their field and we are very appreciative of the support they provide. We believe that working with them will help us reaching our goals.”

Northern Light are delivering a wide range of innovative projects and services in the Scottish aquaculture sector, with extensive expertise in engineering and project delivery. Northern Light Managing Director Greg Riddle comments “We see a natural alignment in business ethos, striving to deliver sustainable solutions for the sector and we look forward to supporting Fjord Maritime to achieve their ambitions”.  

New people, new clients and new adventures!

Over the last few months we have had some key changes at Northern Light whilst continuing to provide our services to long-standing and new clients. In May, we welcomed two new members to the team. Neil Macdonald, joined us as a project manager and design engineer, with vast experience within the aquaculture industry.  Morna Baillie also joined the team with a MEng from Strathclyde Uni in 2021.  Neil and Morna are settling in well and have already undertaken training and are starting to develop projects.

The third and final stage of Thomas Telford Corpach Marina is progressing well, with Gael Force awarded the contract to begin construction of the floating marina structure in March 2022. We continue to support the project with project management and funding administration works. Project Manager Shona MacLeay was delighted to welcome back Local MSP and Cabinet Secretary for Finance Kate Forbes to the marina to update on progress and opening plans.     

Pictured above: NLC PM Shona MacLeay, Kate Forbes MSP, CRC Company Secretary Linda Campbell, and Lucy Burns TTCM Director.

We are delighted to have partnered with Fjord Maritime as their UK base. Earlier this month we welcomed them to Fort William – and what better welcome than, a very speedy, jaunt up Ben Nevis!

Pictured above: Greg Riddle NLC,  Øyvind Bakke Fjord Maritime, Sarah Riddle NLC, Stig Arve Kalvenes Fjord Maritime, Morna Baillie NLC.

Over the past few months we have been working on a project for HIE lead by Economist Steve Westbrook. The project is to consider and develop an options appraisal and feasibility study for the prospect of a West Highland Energy Centre, proposed to be in Mallaig. This study looks to explore options for a sustainable energy centre providing training and support to off-grid communities and explore and identify opportunities to integrate training and learning that will benefit the wider community and organisations.

We have carried out consultation with a number of stakeholders including community representatives, academia and industry bodies. We were delighted to organise a recent virtual roundtable to get all these parties in the one (virtual) room. We are now in the process of writing up our findings and look forward to seeing how this project progresses.  

We have been delighted to once again work with our colleagues at DSW Associates in Argyll on the Aros site project located adjacent to Tobermory Harbour.  Tobermory Harbour Association purchased the Aros Waterfront site in August 2019, with the view to developing the site on behalf of the local community.

They have plans to transform this site into an outdoor activity hub, creating an anchor for wider park activities and safe access points for water sport activities within Tobermory bay.  The Aros waterfront development is a long-term multi-phase project with an overarching objective to create a hub for community well-being, outdoor activities, and educational opportunities, as well as opportunities for new enterprises and sustainable outdoor tourism experiences. 

On behalf of the harbour authority we are currently carrying out a Social, Economic and Environmental Impact Assessment.  A key area of this is to establish potential demand for the site and to discuss how it can be developed for the best use of the community. NLC have supported the project by undertaken an infrastructure assessment and economic feasibility consultation.

Over the past month we have providing industry insight to potential investors on the fantastic and broad opportunities within Scottish aquaculture. This covered key areas such as fish health & welfare, RAS technologies, sustainability, climate change and the regulatory landscape. A slightly different piece of work, on a tight timeline but we love a challenge!

This month some of the team headed to the Otter Ferry Seafish Marine Aquaculture Innovation open day. The new facility in partnership with  Agri-EPI Centre and Innovate UK, based on Loch Fyne, hopes to help drive innovation and sustainable solutions and improve efficiency for the UK aquaculture industry. Check out the new facility here: Aquaculture Innovation Centre

And finally.. its no secret there is a lack of affordable homes within the Highlands and Islands with new research showing home prices in coastal areas are above Scottish average. A new campaign championed by Salmon Scotland and lead by Salmon farmers calls for £10million-a-year in license fees to be reinvested in affordable housing to tackle the growing property crisis in rural Scotland. Find out more about this great proposal here: https://www.salmonscotland.co.uk/licensing-fee-rural-housing-crisis  

As always please do get in touch if there is a project or anything you feel we could support!

A popular question: what do we do?

A question we often get asked at Northern Light is – what do you guys do?

With the wide breadth of projects we are working on and the varying skillsets within the team the answer to that question is not always straightforward.

We work within the blue economy – yes, but other than using that as a starting point quite frankly there are no rules !

The team remains agile and adaptable, for the Aquaculture UK show last week we shared some videos that were produced by the brilliant in-house graphic design team at R3-IoT.

We are delighted to share the first of these today – as always if you have any questions or have a project in mind that we could support please do get in touch.

Aquaculture UK 2022

What a week at Northern Light!

We were delighted to finally attend the long-awaited Aquaculture UK conference in Aviemore.

It was fantastic to meet with all our friends, colleagues and clients within the industry for a chat! (an in person chat at that…. 😊!) This year were we sharing a stand with our long-standing client R3-IoT.

It was great to have the opportunity to discuss the wide breadth of exciting projects we have been working on recently – roll on 2024!

We are exhibiting at Aquaculture UK 2022!

We are delighted to be exhibiting at Aquaculture UK next week (3rd– 5th May). We will be at stand 304 and look forward to meeting with our colleagues in the industry both old and new.

 After a few years of little to no in-person events we are really looking forward to catching up. If you would like to get in touch prior to the event to arrange a meeting with the team please do get in touch.

If you would like to find out more about the event please visit: https://aquacultureuk.com/

We will see you in Aviemore!

Spring Successes!

In typical Fort William style we have very much had all seasons in one week!! But a glimpse of sunshine (and snow…!) the last few weeks has more than confirmed that Spring is on its way.

Over the last month there has been some exciting news with the third and final phase of the Thomas Telford Corpach Marina & Slipway Fort William funding confirmed. This has been a challenging period for the project – long delays due to covid coupled with a lengthy process to secure final funds. But we are thrilled to see this exciting resource delivered which we are in no doubt will be a fantastic asset to the local community.


Photograph of contract signing: Iain Ferguson, The Write Image, Fort William.

We have also reached completion on another few projects including a Food & Drink Strategy for Argyll and Bute Council and a follow up to a feasibility study we done for Aberdeenshire Council last year. Part 2 consisted of a business case and action plan on how to strategically improve landings, marketing communications and infrastructure at Macduff harbour by way of a 5 year action plan. A great project to work on and we are excited to see how the plan progresses from here.

Meanwhile just across the road from our office, we are pleased to report an important milestone at MOWI’s Blar Mhor processing plant, as the first concrete is poured for foundations for their new extension, which will increase production capacity with state-of-the-art processing equipment, and provide high quality new office and welfare accommodation.  NLC are managing the design and construction of this major project which is due to be completed in 2023.

Northern Light – as always have been adaptable and agile this month with some of the team working remotely… not bad when you can have views like this! (Bonus point if you spot our furry friend..)

Two new and exciting research projects are due to commence next week – one in Tobermory, working to produce an impact assessment for the proposed plans of the first stage development of the Aros Waterfront Project.  The other consists of a feasibility study of a proposed sustainable energy centre in the West highlands, exploring how it may operate, the markets it would target, as well as its location.  We are looking forward to getting started on both!

Looking ahead to May, plans are well under way for the Aquaculture UK conference in Aviemore. We are very much looking forward to the long-awaited conference and to see everyone in-person.

On a final note we are delighted to welcome two new members to our team over the next month and can’t wait to introduce them further in next month’s blog.

As always please do get in touch if there is a project or anything you feel we could support!

New year – new innovations!

Happy new year to all colleagues, clients and potential customers! ( Its still ok to say happy new year, right?!) As we enter 2022, the future is bright and the projects coming through are exciting !

We are very much focused on recruitment this year and are hopeful to fill the Assistant PM/ Project Engineer role we have immediately. Finding a suitable candidate for this role has been by no means easy but we are confident 2022 will be the year – please do share far and wide and get in touch if you have any questions. More about the role can be found here: https://hijobs.net/job/230155/assistant-project-manager-project-engineer-site-supervisor

Two large-scale construction projects for our long-standing Aquaculture clients have gathered pace since our December update with one reaching construction stage at the turn of the year and the other recently submitted for Planning.

The Corpach Marina project has turned an exciting corner with funding for phase 3 secured. This will allow purchasing and installation of marina breakwaters, pontoons and linkspan to commence shortly. This provides further assurance that the target of a Summer 2022 opening is achievable.

Following completion of a Feasibility Study for Aberdeenshire Council exploring the possibility of re-establishing a Fish Market at Macduff Harbour, we are delighted to commence part 2 of this project for the council early this year. This project will explore developing a strategic 5 year plan for the harbour and a detailed business case.

We have also begun a project with our colleagues at DWS in Argyll, to develop a Food and Drink Strategy for Argyll & Bute Council. The published strategy will provide the council with short, medium and long term actions that produce positive outcomes for the region and align with Scottish Government policy. NLC are supporting the project by working on two key subject areas Food Security and Public Sector Procurement.  

Our recent work in the nascent seaweed industry continues, and we are now supporting the development of a commercial seaweed farm.

As always please do get in touch if there is a project or anything you feel we could support!

Merry Christmas from all at Northern Light

This year, in lieu of Christmas cards and gifts, Northern Light have made a donation to Lochaber Food Bank and Shelter. Both charities are vital all year round but even more so around the Christmas period. After this past year, the work they contribute to the local community is ever more important.

We would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all our clients and colleagues for their continuing support over the last year and wish them all a very Merry Christmas and happy and healthy 2022!

Beannachdan na r àithe agus gach deagh dhùrachd airson 2022!

Farming, Fish Markets & Football!

After a disappointing start to the year with working-from-home and lockdown fatigue – we are delighted to end the year on high with numerous exciting and innovative projects at varying stages all progressing well.

In October we commenced a study on behalf of Aberdeenshire Council, investigating the feasibility of opening a fish market at Macduff Harbour. This study plays to the strengths of the whole team, with a mixture of research, consultation, infrastructure assessment and business case. We are also pleased to be working again with DWS Associates, who are supporting the project with financial projects and cost-benefit analysis.

We are also progressing some follow-up work for Aberdeenshire Council in forming a steering group to take forward recommendations from our feasibility study earlier this year investigating the opportunity for Seaweed cultivation in the North-East Coast.  Seaweed cultivation has the potential to grow substantially in the future if challenges in processing capacity can be overcome and the commercial opportunities are fully understood.

We are also supporting our long-standing Aquaculture clients with two large-scale developments at pre-construction stage. 

Greg and son Angus (10) who this year signed for the Fort William FC youth team were delighted to make a donation on behalf of Northern Light towards the cost of a new lawnmower for the club.  Fort William are currently playing their home games away, as the pitch was ruled to be in poor condition earlier in the season, but is now in excellent shape.  The club are still looking for donations to fund other improvements to preserve an important asset for the community.

Sarah has been busy with her role as  Innovation and Engagement Director at SAIC (Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre) recently collaborating with Lochaber Chamber of Commerce to bring their Aquaculture day to Lochaber Ideas Week. With a wide-varying programme of speakers and finally (!) the opportunity for in person networking and engagement – a successful day was had by all!

As part of Lochaber Ideas Week, Greg visited BSW for their ‘Tour of BSW.’ This was a great opportunity to see behind the scenes and learn more about the production process.

Earlier this month we were delighted to welcome long-standing client R3-IoT to our Fort William office, to support the growth of their innovative services within the Scottish Aquaculture industry. Their robust and resilient connectivity technology is currently integrated and deployed in a number of sectors including energy, rural health, utilities and environmental monitoring.  Aquaculture is the next step in the journey and we are working with them to develop the technology to best meet the needs of the sector.

Corpach Marina has made significant progress throughout 2021, with phases 1 and 2 reaching completion. We are now working with the client group to close the final funding gap to purchase marina breakwaters pontoons and linkspan – with a target to open in summer 2022.

We are also delighted to have recently been accepted as signatories of the Scottish Business Pledge – highlighting our commitment to ‘fairness, equality, opportunity and innovation in Scotland.’

As we enter the Christmas period we have a number of tenders in the pipeline due for submission with the possibility of some exciting projects and studies taking place at the turn of the year.

As ever please do get in touch if there is a project or anything you feel we could support!

Seaweed cultivation recommended as a viable business opportunity in North Aberdeenshire

Earlier this year, we were delighted to undertake a feasibility study for Aberdeenshire Council examining the opportunities available for seaweed cultivation on the North Aberdeenshire coast.

We looked at a number of suitable locations across this geographical area, consulted with potential end users and relevant stakeholders such as existing marine users and the local community.

As a result of this study NLC recommended to Aberdeenshire Council that there is a socially beneficial, technically feasible and commercially viable opportunity for seaweed cultivation to be carried out in the Aberdeenshire area.

The full report is now available via the following link: https://online.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/apps/news/release.aspx?newsID=8326