Good year for Damen Cutter Suction Dredgers
2015 was very successful for Damen’s Cutter Suction Dredger (CSD) range. Throughout the year 12 CSDs were sold and delivered to clients around the world. Most of the deliveries were stock built vessels, a number of which were being built on speculation when an order was placed for them prior to completion. A feature of standardised Damen vessels is that, though built in series, they can be customised with standard options to meet individual client requirements. This practice of stock building, a key feature of Damen’s philosophy, ensures that clients receive the swiftest possible turnaround of their order.
The CSDs have a broad range of application, including dredging approach and navigation channels, sand mining for construction projects and irrigation channels, work on hydropower dams and irrigating reservoirs to prevent silting. As such, they are operated by a wide variety of clients, including port authorities, coast guards and a wide range of dredging contractors.
Product Director Olivier Marcus of the product group Dredging says: “The 2015 results show the success of Damen Dredging Equipment since it became part of the Damen Shipyards Group. We have many years of experience in building dredgers before that, though each one was a custom special. After 2005 our range became standardised and available on stock, with all the benefits that go with this. Since then we have delivered almost 100 standard CSDs.”
Mr Marcus lists the advantages of this as fast delivery and proven technology, resulting in guaranteed performance, the best possible price-quality ratio – largely due to development costs being spread over many dredgers – and readily available spare parts. Though the designs are standard, the CSDs are available with a range of options to ensure the versatility required to meet bespoke client needs. Besides the CSDs, Damen can also deliver all the auxiliary equipment, such as Booster Stations, Multicats, Shoalbusters and survey vessels, required to guarantee a successful dredging project.
“Another plus is that the Damen CSD range can be built at Damen yards around the world, catering for global distribution. This reduces transportation costs and provides the client with plenty of opportunity to visit the project during construction.”
The international locations that have begun to construct the Damen CSD range in recent years are able to tap into the years of knowledge garnered at the Damen Dredging Equipment yard in Nijkerk in the Netherlands. All the yards apply Dutch quality standards and utilise the highest quality materials and equipment.
Over the years, Damen has optimised the designs of the range, based on user experience. As a result of this evolutionary process, Damen CSDs are laid out in a way that incorporates ease of maintenance and extreme ergonomics to ensure highest possible comfort, resulting in best performance of both machine and operator. Noise and vibration have been reduced to a minimum and much thought has gone into providing optimal view to winches, spud poles and instrumentation. Besides this the dredger is designed to gain the highest possible production at the lowest possible cost. This is done by creating the widest possible dredging width in combination with power balance, making simultaneous operation possible at full load of the cutter, winches and pump. Moreover, it has been designed to minimise wear and tear, with all elements easily replaceable.
Low OPEX results from the use of highly efficient Caterpillar engines, optimal hydraulic systems and dredge pumps developed in-house especially for the CSD range. On the other hand, minimal downtime is guaranteed by the simple, reliable and robust designs and use of exclusively A-brand systems and components.
The modular nature of the Damen CSD range means that the dredgers are easily dismountable for transportation to even the remotest of locations.
The latest addition to the range, available since 2012, is the Damen CSD 650. This model has been a notable success from the outset, with 4 being sold in the short space of time they have been available. Of these, 2 are being operated by leading dredging and marine contractor Van Oord. The client has provided excellent feedback on the performance; the CSD 650 requires only half the crew and offers a reduced fuel consumption/higher production combination, leading to considerably reduced operating costs in relation to comparable dredgers.
Look to the future
The process of optimisation is naturally ongoing, as Mr Marcus explains. “We will continue to optimise and extend our range, based on feedback from clients and new developments of our subcontractors. In the future expect to see increased levels of automation and remote monitoring. The idea being to increase efficiency by carrying out trouble shooting at a distance; often removing the need to send out a service engineer and, when one must be sent, ensuring that he is suitably equipped for the task in hand upon arrival.”