Prospects for the local business scene look promising at the Port of Tvøroyri as new investments in the expanding fishing industry match harbor infrastructure development — with cruise tourism meanwhile slowly entering the picture, too.
Things move fast nowadays at Tvøroyri. Less than four years after the opening of the Varðin Pelagic fish processing plant, overall economic activity has increased considerably, with unemployment virtually gone and a new sense of optimism present throughout the community.
Yet the unmistakable boost to the local economy coming from the fishing industry is only the beginning of a longer upturn, as per the assessment of Port Director Jón Bogi Guttesen—the Port of Tvøroyri is ready to receive a growing influx of bulk reefers and container vessels and, to some extent, cruise liners as well. That is, of course, in addition to the growing number of ship calls from fishing vessels, including, amongst others, Varðin’s impressive fleet of pelagic vessels and locally based whitefish trawlers.
The Port has developed its capacity to receive and handle vessels of such size as are only rarely if ever seen calling at the port, Mr. Guttesen noted.
“Building in particular on the business activities of Varðin Pelagic, our deep-water harbor has been upgraded,” he said. “This lays a solid foundation for further expansion of activities related to the Port, both when it comes to existing activities and when it comes to finding new ways of generating business within the area.”
A few months ago, Varðin Pelagic announced their plan to build a surimi factory at the premises next door, previously occupied by the local Fish Landing Station. The new facility is expected to be fully operational before the end of the year (2016) and represents a significant upgrade of Varðin Pelagic’s commitments in the industry.
“This is very big news,” Mr. Guttesen said. “This new facility will be the only one of its kind in the Faroe Islands and I understand it represents quite a serious step for the investors. It will probably also mean more local jobs, more ship calls and generally more business and revenues. Combined, initiatives such as these are set to generate more business growth locally, in this case in particular by moving pelagic fish processing up the value chain while at same time further refining traditional whitefish processing.”
As for whitefish, in the same neighborhood at the Fishing Harbour, processor Delta Seafood are currently expanding to consolidate their operations under one roof.
“The whitefish business appears to be doing well, as Delta’s expansion clearly indicates, and besides, they have long been recognized as a skillful, stable, and overall successful operator.”
Alongside a planned new harbor area west of the recently added deepwater terminal at the Fishing Harbour, all of the above serves to underscore the Port of Tvøroyri’s key role in promoting and facilitating economic development in the local community, Mr. Guttesen said.
Keeping it clean
In addition to its position as a shipping hub, the Port of Tvøroyri is also a center for regional container transport. Virtually all seafood-related cargo that is brought to and from the island of Suðuroy goes through Tvøroyri. In this connection the Port’s new container storage area is proving its worth, making logistics operations efficient and convenient whether for warehousing or shipping.
Besides cargo related to the seafood trade, the Port of Tvøroyri is also looking to develop a position in the budding cruise tourism business. Local businesses are encouraged to participate as service providers and are adding to their experience, Mr. Guttesen pointed out.
“Two cruise ships called at Tvøroyri last season and all services were successfully provided by local authorities and businesses,” he said. “We are in the process of establishing relevant services and procedures for receiving cruise ships more frequently, and with the facilities available today, the opportunity is there to help foster the development of this particular business. It will take time before we see much in the way of tangible results but we believe it’s worth the effort—and we know for certain that incoming tourism is a growing sector within the Faroese economy.”
Domestic tourists and commuters, meanwhile, travel with Ro-Pax ferry Smyril, owned and operated by Tvøroyri-headquartered Strandfaraskip Landsins, using the Krambatangi passenger terminal.
On a separate note the Port of Tvøroyri is a participant in the Faroe Islands’ environmental emergency preparedness plan. Besides taking part in emergency response activities, the Port manages the annual Shoreline Cleanup effort.
Mr. Guttesen: “The shore is our face to the world and will always be the first thing that guests notice when they arrive, and so keeping it clean is integral to the task of attracting cruise ships.”