New Marine Aggregate Dredger from Damen

Damen Shipyards Group has announced a new line of Trailing Suction Hopper Dredgers (TSHD).

The new product range, comprising of the Marine Aggregate Dredger (MAD) 4000 and 5600 vessels, was introduced in response to extensive market research and customer consultation.

The MAD vessels are expected to be well received by an aggregate industry facing rising demand and an aging fleet.

Designed in collaboration with Maritime Design and Engineering Services (MD&ES), the MAD 4000 and 5600 are welcome additions to Damen’s Trailing Suction Hopper Dredging portfolio.

For offshore aggregate operations, the new vessels will be able to work in North Sea conditions up to depths of -60 meters. These capabilities allow operators to mine sand and gravel in deeper waters, farther from shore than preceding models.

Demand for improvement

Damen has invested considerably in research and development for the new MAD vessels, having observed an increase in demand for civil construction supplies deriving from an overall improving economy.

The development aims at offering industry advanced technology, well suited to existing ports and delivering more uptime at sea.

Olivier Marcus, Damen’s Product Director Dredging, said: “We’ve tailored the technical specifications of the designs in line with the port infrastructure in the region in which the dredgers will operate.

“Furthermore, we’ve paid close attention to seakeeping behavior in order to ensure the vessels can operate comfortably and safely, even in harsh weather conditions.”

Future proof

Unlike traditional dredgers, the bow shape of the MAD vessels allows them to operate in adverse weather conditions.

The shape is based on a proven Damen design applied to renowned vessels such as the Damen Offshore Carrier (DOC) and Platform Supply Vessel (PSV).

In addition to improved seakeeping behaviour, the bow shape also protects the sand and gravel cargo from green water ingress.

The MAD vessels have been developed with tomorrow in mind, said Mr. Marcus: “These vessels are future proof. Featuring Tier III engines and, requiring no ballast water, fully compliant with the latest IMO regulations, these dredgers are looking forwards. On top of that the design also takes into account the possible future requirement for advanced automation.”

In action

Close attention has been paid to incorporating the most robust equipment for operations in harsh environments. A submerged, wear-resistant Damen dredge pump facilitates the loading of sand and gravel aboard the vessel.

Once onboard, the aggregate then passes through the heavy-duty dredgers’ screening towers, where giant sieves allow for a better assessment and classification of the mined material.

Following this, it is stored and dewatered in the vessel’s hopper – with a capacity of either 4,000 or 5,600 m³ – hence the categorization of the two types of MAD.

The operation is supported by optimized instrumentation, offering feedback throughout the entire process.

Upon arrival to port, the vessels’ fully automated clamshell system unloads the material onto a conveyer belt. The system conceived of by the design is a flexible one, suitable for use in varying locations.