Successful naming and launch ceremony for ATHENA
The naming and launch ceremony for the 24,650kW self-propelled cutter suction dredger, ATHENA, took place on 12 February 2011 at the IHC Merwede Shipyard in Kinderdijk, The Netherlands. This was a unique event because the ATHENA is the largest cutter suction dredger to be built in The Netherlands for a Dutch dredging company. Moreover, the ATHENA is one of the three largest cutter suction dredgers in the world.
The ship is being built by IHC Dredgers, part of IHC Merwede, and is the first self-propelled cutter suction dredger for Van Oord. The ceremony was performed by Ms AM van Oord-Groen, wife of Mr JG van Oord Sr, the former commissioner and chairman of Van Oord.
The contract for the design, construction and delivery of the vessel was signed between Van Oord and IHC Dredgers on 9 September 2008 and the keel was laid on 19 February 2010. The ship will be operational in late 2011 and is equipped with the latest dredging technology, which makes it suitable for working in hard soil to a depth of 25 metres.
The name ATHENA is consistent with Van Oord's tradition of naming its cutter suction dredgers after legends in Greek or Roman mythology. Pallas Athena was one of the most important goddesses of the Greek pantheon. She was also goddess of war, wisdom, science and crafts, and patron of Athens.
Towards the end of 2010, Van Oord commissioned the construction of a second self-propelled cutter suction dredger, ARTEMIS. This strengthens its position as the leading dredging company in the world. The construction of both ships will have a positive impact on the Dutch economy.
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Royal IHC (IHC) is focused on the continuous development of design and construction activities for the specialist maritime sector. It is the global market leader for efficient dredging and mining vessels and equipment - with vast experience accumulated over decades - and a reliable supplier of custom-built ships and supplies for offshore construction.
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