The recently delivered trailing suction hopper dredger ‘Tommy Norton’ has started work to deliver safe and reliable ocean access for the commercial vessels that cross the entrance bar to the Gippsland Lakes area.
The vessel, built at Damen Shipyards Yichang, China, was delivered to her new owner, the Gippsland Ports, last week.
Capable of dredging to depths of 15 meters, the dredger has been built with bottom doors to enable self-emptying and can alternate between a bow connection and rainbow expulsion for beach reclamation work.
In order to increase the vessel’s payload capacity when dredging sand with a high specific density, Damen has reduced the freeboard of the vessel and applied a dredge mark.
According to the owner, the ‘Tommy Norton’ is a highly technical hopper dredge commissioned by Gippsland Ports and custom built for the local conditions.
The newbuild will replace the New Zealand based dredge, Pelican, which was operated by Dutch company, Van Oord, for the past eight years.