Royal IHC (IHC) has taken the bold step to build trailing suction hopper dredgers (TSHDs) for stock. The step may break down economic barriers for customers that carry out smaller dredging works.
They often operate a few IHC Beaver® cutter suction dredgers (CSDs) – also available from stock – or are entrants to the market. If TSHD operations are required from such contractors, vessel financing and delivery problems can be solved by purchasing or chartering vessels from stock.
However, the ultra-short delivery time may also be a big advantage for larger dredging companies.
Ending a vicious circle
IHC is aiming to break this vicious circle by building one of the Easydredge® budget-line dredgers for stock. The Easydredge® 1600, 2700 and 3700 can be executed as either an Easydredge® Port Special, Easydredge® World Dredging, or Easydredge® Marine Aggregates package. These distinctions dearly indicate the operations for which they are intended and the appropriate equipment package.
The Easydredge® 2700 is currently under construction and will be supplied with a World Dredging package, which includes bottom doors, a bow coupling and a suction pipe suited for a dredging depth of 25 m. This makes her suitable for a wide range of tasks, from the maintenance of ports and channels to land reclamation. The construction is being carried out by IHC partner MTG Dolphin’s shipyard, while IHC delivers the design and all major components. The launch is scheduled before the end of 2014, with the delivery set for next summer.
IHC quality, competitively priced
The competitively priced Easydredge® is BV classified for unrestricted navigation and dredging up to 20 miles offshore with unattended machinery space. The dredging installation is of IHC quality, and the navigation and control equipment comply with the operational requirements. She can be navigated by either one or two operators, thanks to an ergonomic control console and simple touchscreen control. The electric and hydraulic installations are basic and reliable.
Components have been rationalized, and are interchangeable and repeatedly used over all vessels-such as the bottom doors and their mechanism – while IHC Beaver pumps also serve the purpose of some Easydredge® types. Standardization of the vessel benefits from the whole of IHC’s product portfolio. No cabling is required on the suction pipe. Propellers, dredge pumps, jet pumps and the four-channel bow thruster are directly diesel-driven.
Easy to maintain
This is also a very straightforward dredger to operate. If a person can understand a diesel engine, and basic electrics and hydraulics, he can maintain an Easydredge®.
Every Easydredge® is fit for the operations it was designed for. To accommodate future extensions, space, stability and buoyancy have been reserved for Standard options, such as jet water on the draghead, spud poles or TDS (Tonnes of Dry Solids) measurement, as well as customer-specific options. Such extensions can be added in the construction stage or during the lifetime of the vessel.
Solving an economic problem
With the first stock TSHD being operational in around eight months, customers can knock on the door and have the ship to start operations immediately. She can also be chartered for one-off dredging jobs, or work while another dredger, which fits the customer’s wishes, is purchased and under construction.
This means that the dredging Company can still make money, while the actual asset is being built. Not simply building a ship, but solving an economic problem – that is the innovation, materialized in Easydredge®.