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Enabling Long-term Cold Storage


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Enabling Long-Term Cold Storage pp 54-55Bergfrost doubles its cold storage capacity from 8,000 to 15,000 tonnes — promising savings for clients looking to avoid the cost of transferring frozen goods to mainland Europe for long-term storage.

In response to the pressure from hundreds of thousands of tonnes of pelagic fish for human consumption expected to be landed in the Faroe Islands this year (2013), several of the larger cold stores in the country are increasing their storage capacity. The largest one, Fuglafjørður’s Bergfrost will have virtually doubled its capacity by June, according to managing director Símin Pauli Sivertsen.

Bergfrost’s significant expansion is part of a development program initiated in 2012, aimed at fortifying the company’s already strong position in the cold storage business through the purchase of three storage halls, two of whom the company had leased earlier. There is also the option to add further two halls within the same complex of mountain tunnels, and the potential to equip the cold store with a total capacity of a whopping 25,000 tonnes.

Flag of Attraction


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Flag of Attraction pp 52-53Since 2008 the Faroe Islands International Ship Register (FAS) has seen significant development with the number of vessels in the registry rising by 172 percent — and with progress expected to continue at steady pace in the years ahead.

It should come as no surprise that the Faroe Islands is working assiduously to establish itself as a flag jurisdiction to be reckoned with in the international shipping business. After all, this is a country surrounded by the sea, with an economy largely based on products derived from the sea, and a population highly familiar with all things related to the sea.

A relatively new aspect to all of this, meanwhile, is the offering of maritime services from the Faroe Islands to international clients. Again, the islanders are seen to possess a natural advantage, as approximately one-tenth of the Faroese workforce consists of sea officers. Problem is, most of these are working abroad, mainly on Danish and Norwegian vessels. With the development of a maritime services cluster in the Faroes, however, this may well change.

Faroe Ship: Turning Up Heat


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Faroe Ship: Turning Up Heat p 51With six container vessels engaged in weekly schedules to and from the Faroe Islands, Faroe Ship responds to increased demand from exporters of pelagic fish and farmed salmon by adding services to Poland and Scotland.

Faroe Ship, the leading provider of transport and logistics services in the Faroe Islands, is enhancing its offerings to exporters and importers by adding two more destinations on its container routes to Great Britain and the European continent — Aberdeen, Scotland and Swinoujscie, Poland.

The company announced its new sailing schedule in March this year (2013), noting that six of the group’s 16 container vessels will now be engaged in weekly sailings to and from the Faroe Islands.

All At the Doorstep


All At the Doorstep pp 66-67The Atlantic Frontier heats up with Statoil securing acreage from Norway to northern Canada, ExxonMobil committing to prospects in Atlantic Ireland, Chevron pouring new money into West of Shetland — while in the Faroes, Marjun attracts renewed interest.

The European Atlantic Frontier has been very slow to develop as an oil & gas province of any stature. However, the pace is quickening. The UK especially has the beginnings of a substantial production base in its West of Shetland sector and Norway’s Norwegian Sea province is shaping up to be a substantial resource that is being increasingly successfully exploited. Ireland nurses possibly the highest hopes since exploration of its western margin began in the early 1980s as ExxomMobil in April this year started drilling on the Dunquin gas prospect.

If the US super-major’s first Dunquin well is a success then perhaps the dream of a giant gas resource west of Ireland could yet come true. It would certainly change the European energy map dramatically. Heading back north to where the Atlantic Ocean and the Arctic Sea merge, we find that Statoil has staked out the entire region from east to west — from Norway past the Faroes and Iceland to Baffin Bay west of Greenland, plus Newfoundland and Labrador.

Last summer, Statoil confirmed that it had found 100-200 million barrels of recoverable oil at its Mizzen field, roughly 500 kilometers east of St. Johns, Newfoundland. The first well of this Atlantic Ocean discovery was drilled in 2009.

More Is the Word


More Is the Word pp 48-49 From ship registrations to container transport and cold storage capacity, from export volumes and maritime services to harbor development — pushed by increasing quantities of fish to handle, the Faroese are upping the ante.

Yes, the Faroese are aware of the ongoing recession and yes, it’s hurting some businesses. Overall, nonetheless, the economic situation looks highly encouraging for three vital sectors — seafood, energy, and maritime services — as reflected in unprecedented investments. Besides, the export infrastructure is being further underpinned by the improved air travel connectivity resulting from the recent extension of the Vagar Airport and associated fleet development at Atlantic Airways.

After surviving the rough seas of Iceland’s economic crisis a few years ago, freight carrier Eimskip — the owner of Faroe Ship — is back on track with improved container services for the Faroe Islands. To meet rapidly growing demand from the pelagic fishing industry and aquaculture, the company has added Scotland and Poland to its weekly sailing schedule, making it convenient for exporters of farmed salmon to ship via Scotland to London for long-haul air freight to destinations in America and Asia, and cost-effective for exporters of pelagic fish to send large quantities of frozen seafood direct to Poland, close to the German border.

Framherji Diversifies into Whole Frozen


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Framherji Diversifies into Whole Frozen pp 34-35 Complementing its business in pelagic fishing and sea-frozen fillets through adding northern shrimp and whole round frozen fish — Framherji replaces filleter-freezer Vesturvón with newer, larger and more versatile Akraberg.

As part of the replacement of filleter/freezer Vesturvón by the Akraberg — a larger and more modern and versatile vessel set for delivery this summer (2013) — fishing company Framherji is looking to broaden its business base and help secure the supply of raw material to seafood processing plants located on shore in the Faroe Islands.

By adding sea frozen whole whitefish as well as northern shrimp to its existing pelagic and whitefish business activities, Framherji says it seeks to strengthen its position and increase its client base in a period of increasing uncertainties in the marketplace.

Faroese Take on Herring


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Faroese Take on Herring pp 32-33 With Atlanto-Scandian herring increasingly abundant in Faroese waters, the Faroese — blocked from renegotiating their catch share — set their own quota for very good reason, according to Minister of Fisheries Jacob Vestergaard.

In the wake of this year’s international negotiations on the joint management of the Atlanto-Scandian herring fishery in the Northeast Atlantic, the Faroe Islands decided to set their own catch quota in line with what they consider their rightful share of the recommended total allowable catch (TAC). Fixing it at 17 percent of the advised TAC of 619,000 tonnes, the Faroese — ready to fish just about 105,000 tonnes — thereby allotted themselves a significant rise compared to, in their view, an outrageously low 5-percent share.

Predictably, Norway and the European Union were quick to condemn the unilateral move of the Faroese while calling for sanctions against the Faroe Islanders, whom the Scottish fisheries minister accused of “jeopardizing the future of vital fishing stocks.”

Adding Clout through Trade Council


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Adding Clout through Trade Council pp 24-25 According to business development agency Vinnuframi, the Faroese have one ally they could work closer with to build international contacts and promote their exports—Denmark’s Trade Council, with 90 offices around the world.

Say you consider Denmark a very small country in a global context. What then to make of the Faroe Islands? With a total population of under 50,000 — barely one percent of Denmark’s five million — how can this underpopulated archipelago in the North Atlantic bear the name of a nation in its own right?

Well, it does. Read this publication and you get the idea.

So the Faroe Islands is part of the Kingdom of Denmark, along with Greenland and Denmark. When it comes to foreign affairs, Denmark holds the steering wheel, for obvious reasons. Setting up a worldwide network of representation offices, embassies and consulates would put too much strain on the financial resources of micro economies.

‘Beats Any Urban Hotel’


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‘Beats Any Urban Hotel’ pp 22-23Mild winters and improved air travel connections make the Faroe Islands a year-round destination, as the country makes headlines for its stunning natural beauty, rising culinary status and excellent conference facilities.

Since the general upgrade of Hotel Føroyar a few years ago, a steady stream of positive developments have taken place in the Faroe Islands from a business travel perspective. For one thing, the islanders have gone out of their way to make the country more accommodating for conference goers and tourists — air travel has been made more convenient and more regular, new local tour products have emerged ranging from team building adventures to sea fishing and birdwatching, and the culture and entertainment scene has undergone a makeover with new clubs, cafes and restaurants popping up, especially in the capital Tórshavn.

Hotel Føroyar has been at the center of this process and is making no secret of its ambition to up the game further. The four-star hotel with its signature grass turf roof and spectacular panorama over Tórshavn — the Faroe Islands’ only five-star conference venue — has also played a pivotal part in the quiet revolution that has transformed Faroese dining cuisine, especially when it comes to fine dining.

Vagar Airport: Major Upgrade Adds New Edge


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Vagar Airport: Major Upgrade Adds New Edge pp 20-21As the newly expanded Vagar Airport looks more commercially attractive than ever for airlines and charter operators, the number of passengers traveling through the airport reached a record 225,532 in 2012.

The runway extension that was completed in late 2011 upgraded Vagar Airport FAE significantly while increasing its potential market reach in the international aviation business — the jump from 1250 to 1799 meters of runway made the operational radius from the airport much larger, meaning direct flights to and from Vagar can now be of 6 to 7 hours duration rather than only 2 to 3 hours.

Meanwhile a new passenger terminal currently under construction is expected to be completed by spring 2014.