Damen Shipyards Group is constructing a Trailing Suction Hopper Dredger (TSHD) 650 for Australian client Gippsland Ports, which will be the first Damen dredger to operate in the country.
The client will use the dredger to maintain entry to the Port of Lakes Entrance and the Gippsland Lakes system, in Victoria, which is used by recreational, fishing and supply vessels.
Currently, the client contracts a dredger annually to carry out the necessary dredging to maintain port access.
However, after analysing the situation it became clear that there was a case for investing in its own vessel.
Having their own dredger will, over time, reduce the maintenance costs and ensure year-round availability.
The vessel is currently under construction at Damen Yichang Shipyard in China and will be delivered in Q3, 2017.
Vincent Maes, Sales Manager in the Asia-Pacific region for Damen, said: “We had close contact with Gippsland Ports in order to answer all their questions and explain our designs to them. We were able to make all the adaptations the client required to the standard TSHD 650 design.”
One of the key adaptations to the design involved increasing the installed propulsion power to cope with the strong currents characteristic of the harbour’s entrance.
The dredger will be built with self-emptying capabilities, with bottom doors for dumping and either bow connection or rainbow extraction for beach reclamation work.
Nick Murray, CEO of Gippsland Ports, said: “Gippsland Ports is very pleased to have executed a contract with Damen to build this dredger. This is a critical investment decision for Gippsland Ports and we had quite specific criteria we needed to satisfy.
“We selected Damen because the TSHD 650 together with other attributes of the Damen proposal best met our requirements. We are looking forward to delivery of our new TSHD in 2017.”
Fact File: Damen Shipyards Group operates 32 shipbuilding and repair yards, employing 9,000 people worldwide. Damen has delivered more than 5,000 vessels in more than 100 countries and delivers some 160 vessels annually to customers worldwide. Based on its unique, standardised ship-design concept Damen is able to guarantee consistent quality.