On September 11, Damen Shipyards Group launched a Marine Aggregate Dredger (MAD) 3500 at its Galati yard in Romania. Damen is building the MAD for UK-based Hanson, who will use the vessel to conduct offshore aggregate extraction in water depths up to -55 metres in the North Sea and English Channel.
Following the launch, Damen will complete work on the vessel, to be named Hanson Thames, and afterwards undertake commissioning, including of dredge equipment and screening installation from Damen Dredging Equipment in the Netherlands and a dry unloading system from PLM Cranes.
The dredger was launched despite the impact of the coronavirus during this critical stage of production, the shipbuilder said, after dozens of COVID-19 cases were reported at the Galati shipyard in July.
“Throughout the pandemic our number one priority has been the safety and wellbeing of our personnel, our co-workers and the communities in which we work,” said Sales manager Joppe Neijens.
Damen said it has taken numerous measures at its yards and offices to ensure the safe continuity of its business operations globally.
“By combining a robust approach to safety measures with coordinated team work, we have been able to continue production,” Neijens said. “The measures we have taken include strict hygiene and disinfection routines, and the establishment of shift teams to ensure maximum distance between people working, whilst at the same time keeping to schedule. The project team and yard have done a great job. Together they have taken the necessary measures to keep on track with minimal loss of time.”
Damen said its MAD range applies innovative maritime engineering to ensure safe, comfortable operations even in adverse conditions. The positioning of all dredge pipes above main deck further enhances safety, and the equipment itself is protected by the MAD’s enclosed bow.
The MAD 3500 model specifically aims at achieving a balance between payload and efficiency within the limited dimensions required for the vessel to traverse the Shoreham Lock on the English south coast.