On 19th December in Southampton, Laurence Dagley, Director CEMEX UK Marine Limited signed a contract with Frank de Lange, Regional Sales Director of the Damen Shipyards Group for the delivery of the first Damen Marine Aggregate Dredger (MAD). The vessel, which will be built at Damen Shipyards Galati, in Romania, is designed to extract sand and gravel from the seabed up to depths of 55 metres, including in the challenging conditions experienced in the North Sea.
The MAD is the result of extensive market research and customer consultation. A new, future-facing vessel of this type is aligned with an aggregate industry faced with an aging fleet of vessels and an increased focus on marine activity.
CEMEX UK is a leader in the building materials industry with over 3,000 employees, supplying aggregates, cement, concrete and other building solutions. The company has a pre-existing relationship with Damen, having utilised the service of Damen Shiprepair Amsterdam for maintenance of their vessels.
When approaching Damen, the client had a clear set of requirements, as Laurence Dagley, Director CEMEX UK Marine explains: “We wanted a cutting edge design, something for the 21st century with all the safety, efficiency, environmental and on board comfort credentials this implies. Achieving a maximum uptime within what can be a challenging working environment is also important to us. Damen accepted the challenges that we gave them, delivering a robust yet innovative design that demonstrates the combined experience and ingenuity of our respective teams. Proudly wearing CEMEX colours, this new ship represents the start of our ambition to modernise our fleet over the coming years, to serve the increasing need for marine dredged aggregates in the UK.”
The MAD 3500 design has the optimal balance between payload and efficiency within limited dimensions. With a specific lock passage limiting the vessel’s overall length to 103.5 metres, a deadweight of just under 7,000 tonnes and a speed at loaded draught of approximately 12 knots are still achieved. In comparison to CEMEX’s current vessel, Sand Heron, which the new ship will replace, this translates into an additional 20% of aggregates that can be delivered per trip.
The vessel will boast Lloyd’s Register ECO-notation, courtesy of its green credentials as well as a CAC-3 notation offering a high standard of crew comfort.
The optimal uptime the client required comes courtesy of a number of features. Included is exceptional seakeeping behaviour, offering crew comfort in rough seas and the capability to work in heavy weather conditions. The bow is enclosed, protecting deck equipment and reducing green water ingress into the cargo hold. A user-friendly approach to maintenance also helps to maximise uptime. All dredge pipes are situated above main deck level for safety, as well as easy inspection and crane reach. Besides this, the modular construction of the Damen designed and built dredge systems makes for the easy replacement of wear parts on the piping and screening installation.
Damen regional sales director, Frank de Lange says: “We are honoured to work with CEMEX on this innovative project. At Damen we are always happy to embrace a challenge and this vessel, which includes a number of never before seen features is a good example of that. We feel confident that the MAD has all the attributes required to bring the aggregate dredging fleet up to date and into the future. We’re looking forward to seeing the first MAD in action at the end of 2019.”