Seafood culture in the Norwegian fjords
Kometos and the Norwegian company Bugøynes Kongekrabbe are long-time partners. Thanks to high-quality facilities, the production of fish and red king crabs is economical and energy-efficient.
Seafood production since 1996
Since the start of the company in 1996, Bugøynes Kongekrabbe has been located in Finnmark, Northern Norway, close to the Varanger Peninsula. The company is well adapted to the rough natural conditions.
Bugøynes Kongekrabbe produces seafood in Bugøynes in close co-operation with local fishermen. Throughout the year, the company produces cod, haddock, European catfish, redfish, tusk, Atlantic halibut, and flounder.
Seasonal specialties include lumpfish roe and wild Atlantic salmon. However, as the Norwegian name indicates, the main product of Bugøynes Kongekrabbe is the red king crab, which is mostly found in the Varanger fjord. The crab is well known for its large size and delicious flavor.
One crab can weigh as much as eight to ten kilograms. Catching red king crab is a seasonal activity, but thanks to frozen and fresh storage it can be offered to clients all year round. The company has the capacity to store several thousands of kilograms of live crabs.
Bugøynes Kongekrabbe produces about 700 tons of seafood per year. Monthly production volumes vary from 100 to 300 tons. The company employs 2 to 20 people, depending on the season.
During the red king crab season, two to five tons of the product are transported from the factory each week. During other seasons, products are regularly transported from the factory to the domestic and global markets. Products are exported to 16 countries in Asia, North America, and Europe. Finland is one of the growing markets in Europe.
Challenging production process
The production of red king crab places special requirements on the production facilities.
– The crabs must be stored alive in salt water. Crab cooking develops a lot of moisture, which sets very high requirements for the production facility’s building material. In addition, seafood production facilities often consist of several different units, which takes a lot of energy. Establishing such a production plant was very challenging and seemed to be beyond the limits of our budget. Then I met Raimo, and he made me think in a new way, explains the founder of the company, Öyvind Seipäjärvi, shareholder in Bugøynes Kongekrabben and a member of the company’s Board of Directors.
Bugøynes Kongekrabbe has been Kometos’ customer for years. Öyvind says that when they were looking for a solution for their production facilities, he found Kometos on the internet. He contacted Raimo Niemi, and finally the two met at a tiny three-table café at the Finnish–Norwegian border.
A positive surprise
The production facilities were planned in close cooperation with Kometos. The development work was carried out together. Öyvind says that he is very satisfied with the collaboration with Kometos, and he is grateful for having been given the opportunity to work with the company.
– They are flexible, reliable, and fast. Even though everything was well planned and we knew what the final result would be, I had some doubts about whether Kometos really could meet the strict requirements of the production and the rough climate. It was amazing to see a caravan of seven Finnish trucks arrive at Bugøynes, carrying modules. The mechanics from Kometos assembled the modules in a month. The moment they walked out the back door, our raw material was brought in through the front.
I wasn’t the only one amazed – so were our clients, the authorities and food industry professionals. Even today, after twelve years, the walls are white and there is no rust in sight. Only the floors have been replaced once. The quality of the module material is very high.
Business relationship deepened into friendship
Kometos offered a solution that was adapted for a small company in accordance with the customer’s wishes.
Great efficiency has been packed into a small space, which means energy savings. In addition, the cost of the solution offered by Kometos is only 25 percent of the cost of a conventional model. The production facilities are made up of modules which can be easily expanded when production increases.
We have expanded our facilities many times to gain more space for fish and red king crab production: one module for fish culture, which must be fully isolated from the rest of our production, one module for freezing, and one for the canteen. This would not have been possible without Kometos’ expertise, competent customer service, and regular communication with us.
– Kometos’ after-sales service is excellent. The team spirit is seen in their way of working. It is something unique that cannot be copied.
– I’m very happy to have found Kometos. Raimo visits us on a regular basis, and we go through all the business matters each year. Actually, our business relationship has developed into true friendship. Raimo mentioned it in his speech at our company’s 10th anniversary party. We handle business matters professionally, but outside that, there’s a special friendship between us. It is the result of a long, confidential business relationship, Öyvind says.