Netherlands-based Damen Shipyards has been busy in Germany in recent weeks, delivering three, specialist bespoke vessels and establishing a full-time office to provide support to vessel operators in the region.
This reflects Damen’s ongoing commitment to the southern Baltic and German Bight, with their special requirements and many vessel owners and operators.
Diving Bell Vessel
The replacement diving bell vessel Archimedes, built for owner German government agency FMSW Koblenz to replace a previous vessel, is not only the most unusual of the three, but also one of the most remarkable vessels that Damen has ever built.
Her purpose is the inspection and maintenance of infrastructure on riverbeds, primarily those of the rivers Rhine and Mosel, and the recovery of lost cargo and wreckage.
To achieve this, the 70 by 11.7 metres vessel mounts a four-metre by six-metre diving bell in which personnel can work at depths of up to ten metres, manoeuvred by a bespoke foldable hoisting frame.
Diesel-electric, she has an array of additional specialist systems including a ballast system to ensure longitudinal equalisation during operations and passages under low bridges, and a pressure equalisation chamber.
Archimedes was engineered and built by Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld, as were the twin Fire-Fighting vessels delivered to Flotte Hamburg, the subsidiary of the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) tasked with implementing low-emission shipping.
35 metres in length, their custom designs optimise them for operations in the city as well as the port of Hamburg and they carry an impressive array of fire suppression systems.
Prag is being operated by Hamburg’s fire service while the Dresden supports the HPA, the fire service and other third parties.
Both are state-of-the-art, plug-in hybrid vessels with 315kWh of battery capacity, and when not fighting fires they will be undertaking other activities including water supply, rescue and recovery, technical assistance and environmental protection.
Hamburg Service Hub
Supporting these and many other vessels is the new Hamburg Service Hub. The 15th in Damen’s worldwide network of support stations, like the others it is being staffed by local personnel with experience of ship building and maintenance in their region.
Able to respond quickly to enquiries, it combines direct access to all of Damen’s resources with a network of local suppliers to ensure that products and services are sourced locally wherever possible.
The Hamburg hub will serve customers in Poland and Denmark as well as Germany, and welcomes enquiries from operators of non-Damen as well as Damen vessels.