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Shellfish from coolant

September 17, 1999, 10:00 CEST

Scallops and oysters could be farmed in future with the aid of discharged coolant water from Statoil's Kårstø gas treatment complex north of Stavanger.

Construction of a research station for such farming begins on 20 September at a site just north of the treatment facility for gas from the Åsgard field operated by Statoil in the Norwegian Sea.

Several companies are backing the project, which aims to produce scallops and perhaps oysters faster and to higher quality standards that can be achieved in nature.

Before a go-ahead can be given, research will be needed into algae, biotechnology and probably also breeding.

The pilot project, which has Statoil support, is being run by the Research Council of Norway, Rogaland County Council and Tysvær local authority.

Plans are also being pursued to use coolant water from the Kårstø plants in farming turbot, a fish much in demand as food.

The Rogaland Marin Senter company has applied to the Tysvær council for permission to establish such a farm east of the Statoil site, with the aim of starting construction in 2001.

"We take a positive view of commercial interests which want to utilise our discharged coolant water," says Brian Bjordal, vice president for the Kårstø complex.