By Greg Bennett
The Coast Guard
Sometime next month a Clearwater fishing vessel will leave Shelburne Harbour with some of the latest technology onboard to save fuel.
The company has partnered with an Ontario-based energy firm to utilize waste heat harnessed from a vessel engines to provide onboard freezing capacity while processing at sea.
Jim Mosher, Clearwater’s director of science management, says he and company officials have big hopes for upcoming sea trials of the new technology.
He believes the waste heat recovery project will lead to a significant reduction in the fuel it takes to operate a ship’s freezers. He says that will benefit the company in several ways; with lower fuel costs and a reduced carbon footprint.
Mosher says a growing number of its customers, particularly those in Europe, are concerned about purchasing seafood from companies that are, among other things, committed to reducing their carbon footprint.
“This technology certainly took our interest and we concluded this has merit,” he said.
The company is not certain yet which of its Shelburne-based offshore scallopers will receive the special equipment, but the choices have been narrowed down to either the 140-foot Atlantic Leader or its sister ship the Atlantic Guardian.
The technology was developed by Thermalfrost Inc., described as a pioneer in the field of thermally active cooling. Engineers will install the equipment onboard the chosen Clearwater vessel during a port turnaround in November.
There are plans to install the energy recovery equipment on more of Clearwater’s fleet if the tests are successful.
The initiative is one of several the company has undertaken in recent months with reducing its carbon footprint in mind.
“We know the importance of addressing issues like climate change and are pleased to have the opportunity to partner in innovative ways to increase our fuel efficiency,” said Mike Pittman, Clearwater VP of Fleet Management.