Pushing ahead with several development projects to boost infrastructure, the Port of Tvøroyri cements its position in the top league among Faroese ports — as landings of pelagic catch for local processing amount to 100,000 tonnes a year.
As confirmed after its first full #year of operations, the new Varðin Pelagic freezing plant that opened in mid 2012 marked a turning point for the Port of Tvøroyri. With 100,000 tonnes of fresh pelagic fish landed and processed for export during 2013, it’s becoming abundantly clear that the pelagic business has come to Tvøroyri.
The local port authority, the Municipal Council of Tvøroyri, welcomed the processing plant as it promised the first serious economic boom for many decades on the whole island of Suðuroy.
The Council immediately committed to a series of development projects, the first of which were fundamental to have the factory set up in the first place and commence business: a new stretch of dock, a piece of land adjacent to the facility, and more.
Two years on, it’s time to build a deepwater terminal for logistics handling and committ to new harbor enhancements.
“The freezing plant had a lead-in period of six months and subsequently completed a full year of normal operations,” Mayor Kristin Michelsen noted. “The production rate has turned out to be close to 100,000 tonnes per year, which in money terms translates into a turnover of well over a billion [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][dkk]. So this new facility is obviously having a major impact on the port and the entire local community. This has the potential to become a real success story and we are keen to see it unfold; the Council will do its part as far as concerns necessary investments in our infrastructure.”
Mr. Michelsen added: “A new terminal with a dock length of 185 meter and depth alongside of 11 m will now be built to accommodate the growing demand for logistics handling in the port.
“Also an area of 4,000 square m will be assigned for container storage. As for the Fishing Harbor, a new berth will be added to further facilitate landing of pelagics and groundfish; moreover the Council has allocated additional areas for potential development on both arms of the fjord.”
Last year, meanwhile a local highway was built on the hillside over town to connect with the main road infrastructure and the ferry terminal at Drelnes.
‘A new reality’: The newfound buzz at Tvøroyri may evoke memories from late 19th to early 20th century when the Faroese fishing industry began to take shape. For decades Tvøroyri played a central part in it but the decline that followed lasted longer than perhaps people might have expected. Now the experience of being freed from a spell as it were, can be sensed everywhere in town and beyond — neighboring communities are benefiting as well from the increased employment rates and new sources of revenue.
This revival puts Tvøroyri, once again, squarely on the map as a center for production and export of seafood.
There could be even more in store, according to the Mayor, who hinted at rumored plans of more facilities for new products. Apart from mentioning tourism and cultural events, he also made reference to the Council’s ambition to offer services to the offshore industry.
“The Council has allocated even larger areas for harbor development,” he said. “We are looking at both the southern side of the fjord, where there is potential for cruise tourism and cultural events as well as using a separate area to serve the oil and gas industry, and the northern side, where we can expect the fishing industry to expand in the months and years ahead as they look for new ways to add value to their produce.”
The Mayor added: “We were under pressure to meet urgent requirements from Varðin Pelagic investors and managed to deliver through good team work. Going forward, we have now had time to plan ahead and align our longterm objectives with a new reality.”
The Mayor’s optimism is backed by increasing tax revenues and a growing local population. On a separate note, the recent agreement between the Faroe Islands and EU and Norway on mackerel seems to reinforce the positive energy — the Faroese can fish in Norwegian waters again, which is highly popular in the winter.
“With prospects that pelagic catch quota will be made more stable, the Port of Tvøroyri moves one step closer to the wealth of living marine resources found in the North Atlantic — even more so now that the fish can be caught at the optimum time of the year.”