BEWI builds new major EPS production in northern Norway
Morten in Charge
Morten Bondestad will be in charge of production at the new 3,500 square meter BEWI plant on Senja, Norway.
– This is my opportunity to be part of creating something new. To start up a factory is extremely exciting, says Morten Bondestad.
The new BEWI plant is situated next door to SalMar’s 20,000 square meter fish-processing plant InnovaNor on the island of Senja in northern Norway. BEWI will produce EPS fish boxes for the SalMar plant.
BEWI’s boxes and lids will be transported through the wall to the neighbouring SalMar plant. The complete packaging doesn’t leave the location until it’s filled with salmon.
– It’s efficient, cost-effective and sustainable. And since EPS is 98% air transports will be lighter.
Started in February
Morten Bondestad started as operations manager at BEWI on Senja in February 2021. The factory opens in August and his work is focused on getting everything to run smoothly.
– All inventories, machinery, equipment and production lines were ordered early on, so I follow up and make sure that everything goes according to plan, says Morten Bondestad.
All machinery and control systems should be installed, tested and ready for production in August. With everything in place, production capacity will be impressive. The packaging production is fully automated and each and every machine and vent are controlled with compressed air.
Three employees work at the plant already and more staff will be added in autumn, so production can work in shifts when the fish-processing plant runs at full capacity.
– We’ll use the first six months to getting to know the factory and SalMar.
– SalMar is the most important client and the reason we’re building this factory. They have the highest priority, says Morten Bondestad.
– They and we both have new plants here. This is the first fully-integrated factory in northern Norway, which means new processes for orders and logistics. There will be many new ways of working together and everything needs to be finetuned, says Bondestad.
BEWI EPS packaging
– The raw material is expanded with steam and turned into EPS beads. It’s simple on paper, but a lot to keep track of. We depend on water with the right quality regarding impurities, PH-value, temperature and no oxygen.
The steam is produced by heating floating liquefied natural gas in a tank, to make the water boil and vaporise. It’s extremely important that the steam comes from clean water.
– We have our own water purifying plant and constantly check the water’s quality, add chemicals and rinse, says Morten Bondestad.
There can be no impurities when producing steam with high temperature at high pressure, and then running it through the system. Several thousand litres of steam passing through the pipes every hour. If the steam contains particles, it’s like a sandstorm that will rip apart pipes and vents.
BEWI on Senja
BEWI on Senja will first and foremost produce EPS boxes for its neighbour SalMar InnovaNor, but later also for other fishplants close by. At present, the focus is on getting everything ready and start production in late summer. The machinery is in place, and the control systems are ready for installation and finetuning.
– It will be exciting when production is up and running.
Bondestad has a degree in mechanical engineering and has worked extensively with machinery. Since 2014 he has worked as a maintenance engineer at Finnfjord AS. The passion for machines started when Morten grew up on a farm close to the factory.
– I’m born and bred in the countryside with a farm, garage and everything else that it brings, so it’s in my genes. I’ve always worked with engines and machinery, and I’m quite handy, says Bondestad.