Damen Shipyards Group is establishing a permanent presence in Houston, Texas. The office opened on 1st August and will be headed by senior managers Jan van Hogerwou (New Construction) and Ruud Haneveer (Ship Repair & Conversion). This move is part of Damen’s policy of expanding its local footprint around the world, bringing it closer to current and prospective clients and enabling it to deliver a more responsive and personal service.
The first order to be handled by the new entity is for four new Damen 3711 Stan Tugs by Young Brothers, Limited, Hawaii’s largest inter-island cargo service provider. Young Brothers is a Saltchuk company operated by Foss Maritime. The tugs will be built at Conrad Shipyard, Louisiana, under a license and materials agreement with Damen. The first vessel will be delivered in the first quarter of 2018 and the last twelve months later. Together the 37-meter, 6,000 hp tugs will service Young Brothers’ fleet of modern, high-capacity tugs & barges.
“Opening a permanent Damen presence in North America is a significant milestone for the group,” said Jan van Hogerwou. “With over 200 Damen design vessels built and delivered in the US, this has been an important market for our vessels for many years via our flexible licensing agreements, and we have enjoyed excellent cooperation with shipyards across the country. This latest initiative will enable us to strengthen our relationships further with both builders and operators, and serve the North American market with the innovative, cost-effective and dependable vessels that it seeks.”
The choice of Houston as the location of the new office is also intended to send a message to the offshore oil & gas sector in North America. That is, that Damen is committed to supporting and working with vessel owners and operators to maximise efficiencies and minimise costs, despite the current downturn. It will support Damen’s work with shipyards and owners right across the maritime sector and Damen’s product range. The new Damen office is registered in Houston Texas as Damen Area Support North America BV Co.