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Damen bags first Aussie dredger contract

Damen bags first Aussie dredger contract
Damen Shipyards has inked a contract with Australia's Gippsland Ports for a Trailing Suction Hopper Dredger (TSHD), to maintain entrance to the Port of Lakes Entrance and the Gippsland Lakes system in Victoria, Australia.

Gippsland Ports put the TSHD 650 project out to tender in 2014, after recognising the economic case for owning its own dredger, instead of contracting one annually, reducing maintenance costs and ensuring year-round availability, for example in the event of weather related shoaling events.

Due for delivery in Q3 2017, the vessel will be the first Damen dredger to operate in Australia. Currently under construction at Damen Yichang Shipyard in China, it will be capable of dredging to depths of 15 m, 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. In order to increase the vessel’s payload capacity when dredging sand with a high specific density, Damen will reduce the freeboard of the vessel and apply a dredge mark.

Damen has further increased the propulsion power of its design in order to cope with the strong currents characteristic of the harbour’s entrance. The vessel also features an anti-turbidity valve on the overflow, reducing air bubbles and, therefore, visible plumage in the water.

“We had close contact with Gippsland Ports in order to answer all their questions and explain our designs to them,” comments Damen sales manager Asia Pacific Vincent Maes. “We were able to make all the adaptations the client required to the standard TSHD 650 design.”

Gippsland Ports ceo Nick Murray added: “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.”