The trailing suction hopper dredger Tommy Norton will over the next couple of days dock at the home port in Victoria, Australia.
According to the Gippsland Ports, the newbuild – first Damen TSHD for Australia – is scheduled to arrive at Lakes Entrance in late August, early September, upon which the Tommy Norton will undergo dredging trials.
Having left Damen Yichang Shipyard in Shanghai on 14th July, a Damen team is sailing the Tommy Norton approximately 5,000 nautical miles to reach Australia.
The vessel will replace the New Zealand based dredge, “Pelican” operated by Van Oord, that has performed contracted dredging services on the Lakes Entrance bar for the past 8 years.
The new dredger will be used to maintain entry to the port of Lakes Entrance and the Gippsland Lakes system, which is used by recreational, fishing and supply vessels. To achieve this mission effectively the Damen TSHD 650 has been modified to increase the installed propulsion power, allowing her to manage the strong currents encountered in the harbor’s entrance.
Capable of dredging to depths of 15 meters, the dredger has been built with self-emptying capabilities with bottom doors for dumping and the choice of either a bow connection or rainbow expulsion for beach reclamation work.
The dredging process will be made even more efficient by the installation of the navigational dredging aid, NavGuard, indicating the area and quantity of substrate dredged.