Successful Naming and Launch of Largest Dutch Cutter Suction Dredger

Van Oord’s largest self-propelled cutter suction dredger Athena was named and launched at the IHC Merwede shipyard in Kinderdijk on 12 February last. The Athena is the largest ever cutter suction dredger built in the Netherlands for a Dutch dredging company. What is more, the Athena is one of the largest cutter suction dredgers in the world. The vessel will be operational in October 2011.

The vessel is Van Oord’s first self-propelled cutter suction dredger. The ceremony was performed by Mrs A.M. van Oord-Groen, the wife of Mr J.G. van Oord Sr. (formerly both chairman and supervisory director of Van Oord).

The contract for the design, construction and delivery of the vessel was signed on 4 September 2008, after which the keel was laid on 19 February 2010. The vessel is equipped with the latest dredging technology, which makes it suitable for working on hard ground and rock down to a depth of more than 32 metres. The designers paid particular attention to ergonomics and living conditions on board. For example, the entire accommodation section is suspended in order to counteract vibrations. Once it is operational, the Athena will be provided with a Green Passport and a Clean Ship Notation, both from Bureau Veritas. The Athena is the first dredger in the world to be awarded a Clean Ship Notation.

The name Athena is in line with Van Oord’s tradition of naming its cutter suction dredgers after heroes and gods from Greek or Roman mythology. The Greek goddess Athena is known not only as the goddess of wisdom but also as the goddess of war. This new vessel is indeed a powerful weapon for Van Oord in its battle with the competition. At the end of 2010,

Van Oord awarded the contract for the construction of a second powerful, self-propelled cutter suction dredger, Artemis, a sister ship for the Athena. The construction of the Athena and Artemis forms part of Van Oord’s massive investment programme for the period 2007-2015, amounting to almost EUR 2 billion. This will enable Van Oord to strengthen its position as the leading contractor in all segments of the world dredging market. The construction of the two ships represents a major boost for the Dutch marine engineering cluster.


Source: vanoord, February 14, 2011