On 10 May 2019, Damen Shipyards Group and Hanson Aggregates Marine signed a contract for construction of a Marine Aggregate Dredger (MAD) 3500 vessel. The ship will be used to extract aggregates offshore up to depths of 55 metres, for use in the onshore construction industry.
Due for delivery in March 2021, the vessel will be constructed in Damen’s shipyard in Galaţi, Romania. The dredge equipment and screening installation will be constructed by Damen Dredging Equipment (DDE) in Nijkerk, The Netherlands.
Hanson UK is a leading supplier of heavy building materials to the construction industry, and produces aggregates (crushed rock, sand and gravel), ready-mixed concrete, asphalt, cement and cement-related materials. Hanson’s marine business is Europe's largest producer of marine-dredged sand and gravel. It owns a purpose-built fleet consisting of six aggregate dredgers distributing aggregates from a network of wharves.
The MAD 3500 design achieves the optimal balance between payload and efficiency within limited dimensions and is ideally suited to operating within the dimensions of Shoreham lock on the English south coast. With the specific lock passage limiting the vessel’s overall length to approximately 103.5 metres, a deadweight of just under 6,800 tonnes and a speed at loaded draught of approximately 12.5 knots are within the vessel’s capability. The vessel’s length and width offer the optimal amount of cargo space to achieve maximum transportation efficiency on each passage through the lock.
This dredger will be used by Hanson’s marine business to extract aggregates in the British Channel and North Sea, aided by a number of special features specific to its innovative design, including a 1,400 kW permanent magnet electric motor, which powers the dredge pump for collecting aggregates at -55m. This particular vessel will also feature a dry unloading system built by Damen’s partner PLM Cranes BV.
The MAD 3500 is the latest vessel in Damen’s series of newly designed and recently launched specific marine aggregate dredgers. The application of innovative maritime engineering technology provides the capability for the vessel to function impressively under heavy weather conditions without compromising comfort or the safety of the crew. The bow is enclosed to protect deck equipment, all dredge pipes are situated above main deck level for safety, and the modular construction of the DDE dredge systems allows easy replacement of parts on the piping and screening installation.
This sale marks Damen’s second contract for a MAD 3500, following an earlier order from the UK in 2018. Joppe Neijens, Damen sales manager, is convinced Hanson won’t be disappointed with their order. “A great deal of market research and modern engineering went into the development of the MAD series,” says Joppe. “These vessels are ideally equipped to bring aggregate dredging fleets into the 21st century. It’s a privilege to provide Hanson with a product we trust will enhance their future operations, and we look forward to a fruitful collaboration with Hanson in the future.”