The Netherlands: IHC Merwede Confirms 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.

Main features


Type: Self-propelled cutter suction dredger

Customer: Van Oord NV

Builder: IHC Dredgers BV

Length: overall 130m

Breadth: 27.8m

Total power: 24,650kW

Dredging depth: 25m

Suction pipe diameter: 1,000mm

Company profile

IHC Merwede IHC Merwede is focussed 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.

IHC Merwede has in-house expertise for engineering and manufacturing innovative vessels and advanced equipment, as well as providing life-cycle support. Its integrated systematic approach has helped to develop optimum product performance and long-term business partnerships. The company’s broad customer base includes dredging operators, oil and gas corporations, offshore contractors and government authorities.

IHC Merwede has over 3,000 employees based at various locations in The Netherlands, China, Croatia, France, India, the Middle East, Nigeria, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Technological innovation will remain the company’s underlying strength through its continuous investment in research and development. Moreover, it helps to safeguard a sustainable environment.


Source: ihcmerwede, February 15, 2011