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72,000 tonnes have been through the Ísbjörninn cold store

It’s now four years since HB Grandi’s Ísbjörninn (The Polar Bear) cold store at the company’s Norðurgarður location was commission and during that time 72,000 tonnes of frozen production have been stored there for longer or shorter periods of time.

As is stated on HB Grandi's website, the cold store was formally opened on Seamen’s Day in 2013. The 3800 square metre Ísbjörninn has capacity for up to 6000 tonnes of frozen goods, and takes its name from the Ísbjörninn fishing company, one of those that merged to form the present-day HB Grandi. The name was chosen by a staff poll. The opening of the cold store solved the increasingly pressing need for frozen storage capacity and its addition has bolstered the status of Reykjavík’s old port area as a centre of fishing and fish processing.

Before the Ísbjörninn cold store was commissioned, HB Grandi struggled to find storage for its frozen production. The company’s existing facilities at Norðurgarður were no longer able to cope with production and the immediate solution was to lease cold storage at the Sundahöfn harbour on the other side of the city, or at the Kuldaboli cold store in Thorlákshöfn, as well using as a row of refrigerated containers at Norðurgarður. The commissioning of the Ísbjörninn cold store was an immediate improvement and also resulted in a reduction in truck traffic and therefore air pollution in the streets around the Grandi district.

According to HB Grandi’s figures, the largest volume went through the cold store in its first six months of operation with 16,602 tonnes passing through it between June and the end of the year. The volume for the whole of 2014 was 16,011 tonnes, which dropped in 2015 to 13,711 tonnes. Last year 15,930 tonnes were stored there and this year up to 22nd of September, 9878 tonnes of frozen seafood production has been stored at the Ísbjörninn cold store.