On 19 December 2017 in Southampton, Laurence Dagley, Director CEMEX UK Marine Limited, signed a contract with Frank de Lange, Regional Sales Director of the Damen Shipyards Group, for the delivery of the first Damen Marine Aggregate Dredger (MAD).
The vessel, which will be built at Damen Shipyards Galati, in Romania, is designed to extract sand and gravel from the sea bed up to depths of 55m, including in the challenging conditions experienced in the North Sea.
The MAD is the result of extensive market research and customer consultation. A new, future-facing vessel of this type is aligned with an aggregate industry faced with an aging fleet of vessels and an increased focus on marine activity.
The MAD 3500 design has the optimal balance between payload and efficiency within limited dimensions. With a specific lock passage limiting the vessel’s overall length to 103.5m, a deadweight of just under 7,000 tonnes and a speed at loaded draught of approximately 12 knots are still achieved.
In comparison to CEMEX’s current vessel, Sand Heron, which the new ship will replace, this translates into an additional 20% of aggregates that can be delivered per trip.
The vessel will boast Lloyd’s Register ECO-notation, courtesy of its green credentials as well as a CAC-3 notation offering a high standard of crew comfort.
The optimal uptime the client required comes courtesy of a number of features. Included is exceptional seakeeping behaviour, offering crew comfort in rough seas and the capability to work in heavy weather conditions.
The bow is enclosed, protecting deck equipment and reducing green water ingress into the cargo hold. A user-friendly approach to maintenance also helps to maximise uptime.
All dredge pipes are situated above main deck level for safety, as well as easy inspection and crane reach. Besides this, the modular construction of the Damen designed and built dredge systems makes for the easy replacement of wear parts on the piping and screening installation.