The Damen Shipyards Group is constructing a trailing suction hopper dredger (TSHD) 650 for Australian client Gippsland Ports.
The TSHD will be the first Damen dredger to operate in the country. The client will use the dredger to maintain entry to the port of Lakes Entrance and the Gippsland Lakes system, in Victoria, which is used by recreational, fishing and supply vessels.
“We had close contact with Gippsland Ports in order to answer all their questions and explain our designs to them,” said Damen Sales Manager Asia Pacific Vincent Maes. “We were able to make all the adaptations the client required to the standard TSHD 650 design.”
One of the key adaptations to the design involved increasing the installed propulsion power to cope with the strong currents characteristic of the harbor’s entrance.
Capable of dredging to depths of 15 meters, this dredger will be built with self-emptying capabilities, with bottom doors for dumping and either bow connection or rainbow extraction for beach reclamation work.
In order to increase the vessel’s payload capacity when dredging sand with a high specific density, Damen will reduce the freeboard of the vessel and apply a dredge mark.
Reducing the maintenance costs
Currently, the client contracts a dredger annually to carry out the necessary dredging to maintain port access. After analyzing the situation it became clear that there was a case for investing in their own vessel.
Having their own dredger will, over time, reduce the maintenance costs and ensure year-round availability, for example in the event of weather related shoaling events.
Gippsland Ports put the project out to tender in 2014. Following evaluation of proposals in December 2015, Damen was awarded the construction contract.
The vessel is currently under construction at Damen Yichang Shipyard in China and will be delivered in Q3 2017.