Dredging adaptation for Damen tugs

01 Mar 2017

The water injection dredging equipment installation is illustrated here (Damen)

The water injection dredging equipment installation is illustrated here (Damen)

In a complex and interesting deal, two tugs with heavy Dutch influence have been ordered from Damen to be equipped for dredging as well as towing duties in French Guyana.

It is seldom that role descriptions for newbuild tugs don’t include a variety of additional capabilities as owners attempt to gain the maximum value possible from the vessel. This order for Damen will see 29m and 23m examples from its catalogue (the former with hybrid propulsion) customised to assist with maintenance dredging at the ports they will operate in.

The order comes from Baggerbedrijf De Boer BV (Dutch Dredging BV) for a WID 2915 hybrid and an ASD Tug 2310 SD (shallow draught), to be built at Damen’s Hardinxveld shipyard. The order was placed through subsidiary De Boer Remorquage SARL on the back of a 10-year contract with Grand Port Maritime de Guyane in the ports of Cayenne and Kourou in French Guyana.

Primary functions of the pair will be assisting vessels entering and leaving port along with rendering assistance in the event of emergencies including fire-fighting. The secondary role of assisting with maintenance dredging operations at both ports makes the order of particular interest.

Larger of the two, the WID 2915, will be configured for a variety of roles including dredging using the air and water injection dredging (AIRSET) method with the smaller ASD Tug 2310 fitted out to operate equipment required for bed-levelling and surveying activities. As they will be the only support vessels available to either port they will also be used for the transportation of equipment and cargo up to container-sized loads.

Joining Dutch Dredging BV in the project is Ijmuiden-based Iskes Towage & Salvage who will be the former’s co-owner in the French subsidiary company De Boer Remorquage SARL, the legal entity that ordered the vessels. It will also operate the tugs with the aim of employing and training local staff and crew in the skills required to man and maintain the vessels. Iskes are no strangers to Damen products including having ownership of three ASD Tug 2810s along with an ASD Tug 3212 due to enter service with the company imminently.

Renderings of the WID 2915 illustrate the ‘U’-shaped water injection unit attached below the fender line on both sides of the tug in what is an interesting adaptation of one of the ASD Tug series from Damen. Both vessels are designed to meet requirements of the end client, Grand Port Maritime de Guyane which also contributed to development of the designs via its own consultant Hydro GC who checked and approved the design and helped optimise the dredging-towing balance to achieve an equilibrium within given specifications. Dutch Dredging contributed its own knowledge of the unique technique of water and air injection dredging built up over 20 years including 12 years of operating in the specific conditions of French Guyana.

Hugo van de Graaf, Dutch Dredging CEO said: ‘We chose Damen for its reputation for designing and building both tugs and dredgers to a high standard. This made it the ideal partner for the construction of custom, multi-purpose tug/dredgers. In addition to this, the vessels will be built under French rules and classification, something in which Damen is also experienced.’

Jos van Woerkum, managing director Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld commented: ‘The success of this deal was based on trust and a respect for each other’s knowledge that the counterparties quickly developed.’ He touched on the experience of breaking new ground with the order, stating: ‘While we know Iskes Towage and Salvage well, this is our first time working with Baggerbedrijf De Boer. Yet in just a few months we developed together the WID 2915 by taking an existing Damen design and adding the collective experience of the two project partners to create the optimum solution.’

By Peter Barker

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