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Tai An, one of South America's best-equipped vessels.

Driven by our long-term vision, we made a major investment in the reform of fishing vessel "Tai An", which included structural improvements involving more than five months of work. Thus, the “Tai An” became one of the best-equipped ships in South America.

The reform process began in September 2008, and focused on improving three key aspects: fishing, equipment and production.

Problems before conversion Modifications Result
The main engine has a nominal capacity for 5,200 HP at 220 RPM, but was unable to go over 170 RPM. This reduced the vessel's towing capacity. Change of propellers and addition of nozzle. The engine can now work at 214 RPM, which increased its towing capacity by 40%, allowing it to use much larger nets.
The old winches had great difficulties for handling large volumes of catch, which caused a big delay when placing the catch on board. New winches, more powerful and faster. About 40 minutes were gained per tow. This means 2 more hours of fishing per day, which amounts to 25 more fishing days per year.
Changing the net from midwater to bottom or vice versa took very long (about 3 hours). The new AC/DC winches allow for nets to be changed in 45 minutes or less. The time taken to change a net was reduced by 2 hours. Also, AC/DC technology reduces fuel consumption.
Since the vessel had fixed winches, when the net got tangled in a rock, it usually broke, which generated additional costs. The new winches are automatic: if the net gets tangled in a rock, warp is released, preventing breakage. Increased fishing time and reduced expenses.
The equipment to monitor the performance of the midwater net had very poor image quality. Two new cable winches and 2 new SIMRAD trawl sonars provide a very clear vision of the behavior of the midwater net. Increased fishing capacity, improved image quality of the performance of the midwater net.
Heavy nets were used in order to avoid breakage on deck when handling catch. The largest net used was 1,100 meters in circumference. Lighter nets, up to 2,000 meters in circumference. Greatly increased fishing capacity.
It was very hard to tow the net on steep slopes. New SCANTROL system allows the vessel to tow on steep slopes with full control of the net. Increased fishing areas.
The vessel could not stay its course when towing in strong currents from the side, limiting the catch possibilities in the main Southern blue whiting areas, as well as in some hoki areas. Additionally, the vessel had great difficulty for changing course when towing in strong currents, in important Southern blue whiting and hoki fishing grounds. The rudder was modified in order to help the vessel keep course and improve its maneuverability when changing course. The ship can now fish in areas where it used to be impossible, and it has substantially improved its capacity to change course.
Standard 32 mm wire added additional weight to the fishing gear. Introduction in the Americas of Dynex warp, which is only 10% as heavy as wire, and much more durable. Greatly improved maneuverability.
Problems before conversion Modifications Result
Old Furuno 28 and 59 kHz Echosounders. New SIMRAD 18, 38 and 70 kHz echosounders installed. Improved detection capability. The new echosounders show fish marks where the old echosounders did not show any marks.
Old SIMRAD SP 70 sonar did not work in bad weather. It had only one frequency. New SIMRAD SX 93. First equipment in South America. Multi-frequency, it permits operation in bad weather and clearer definition. Improved detection technology.
Difficulties for reading the speed and direction of sea currents. Installation of electronic scientific equipment capable of detecting current speed and direction up to 300 meters in depth. It helps the fishing master decide on which direction to make the tow.
Lack of knowledge of the performance of the fishing gear, as well as of the volume of fish entering the net. Installation of a complete SCANMAR sensor system, which controls different aspects of the fishing gear (function of doors, net symmetry, speed of water flow in the net, distance between ground rope and floor, distance between doors, depth and angles of the doors, amount of fish entering the net) Very important supply of information, in real time, of variables about the work of the fishing gear. This helps the fishing master understand the performance of the fishing gear and make all the necessary changes and adjustments while towing, thus reducing the chances of losing catch.
Problems before conversion Modifications Result
The maximum production of water per day was 210 m3, which limited sustained production to 40 tons of surimi per day. Installation of a new osmotic water maker, which makes 220 m3 per day, and preparation of a new 110 m3 water tank. New osmotic water maker. Maximum water production was increased to 430 m3, and storage is now 360 m3, increasing continuous daily production capacity to 85 tons of surimi per day.
The ship's old water maker burnt about 6 m3 of fuel per day in order to produce 210 m3 of water. The new water maker burns less than 1 m3 a day to make 220 m3. Up to 5 m3 of fuel can be saved a day, which entails savings of 1,500 m3 a year.
Two TOYO filleting machines were capable of producing up to 60 tons of fillet with skin per day, which made for lower-quality surimi. Five new BAADER filleters replaced the TOYO filleters; they can produce over 100 tons of skinless fillet per day. The filleting area does not limit production anymore; surimi quality improved.
The old SHARPLESS decanter had many problems in operation, and reduced capacity. A modern ALFALAVAL decanter was installed. Increased reliability, superior performance and production.
The equipment in the old factory was old and semi-destroyed. A completely new stainless steel plant was installed; rust was removed in all the plant. The factory now meets the highest health standards in the world.
Insufficient cleaning system. A modern cleaning system was installed. High-quality products can be produced.
Old and new fish was mixed in the primary pound, which made the quality of the final product irregular. Three new independent pounds were installed, which allows for good management of the catch. Better control of the raw material, and therefore of the final product.
Very old electrical control of production. A state-of-the-art, highly-efficient system was installed. More reliable production control.
Unreliable freezing system. New freezing system, with replaced valves and pipes. New freezing system is more reliable.
Mixing of surimi with sorbitol, sugar and phosphate had a capacity of about 70 tons per day. Two STEPHAN mixers were installed. More reliable automatic mixing, capable of mixing up to 85 tons of surimi a day.
The factory was completely dependent on electricity. A new hydraulic system was installed, which created a much more reliable factory. No interruptions in production from electrical problems.
Insufficient refiner, rotary screen and screw press capacity. Modern, larger refiners, rotary screens and screw presses were installed in order to increase production. Production capacity increased by about 50%.
The factory was limited to producing only surimi, and it produced headed and gutted fish manually, and very inefficiently. The new factory can produce surimi, fillet block, and H&G fish. More flexibility for the company, which can choose to vary production according to the situation of the resource and the market for each product.