On the 9th of November, Mr Kommer Damen, Chairman of the Damen Shipyards Group, officially reopened the offices of Damen Dredging Equipment (DDE) in Nijkerk following an extensive refit and extension. Among the many improvements, the building now provides visitors with a complete ‘dredging experience’, starting with displays in the hallways illustrating the challenges of living in the Low Countries and explaining why dredging has been an integral part of their history. The first floor then shows visitors how Damen and dredging together make a unique combination based on an exceptional standard of excellence. The remaining floors complete the experience with exhibitions bringing to life the breadth of Damen’s dredging expertise. Equipment and hands-on demonstrations showcase the capabilities that Damen offers across capital, maintenance, environmental and aggregate dredging. In all, around 550m² of new space has been added.
The hosts for the occasion were Hendrik Jan de Kluiver, Managing Director of DDE, and Olivier Marcus, Director of Damen Product Group Dredging. In his speech, Mr Kommer Damen spoke of his own experience of dredging early on in his career and how it sparked an enduring passion for the industry. From there he talked about how cooperation between departments across the Damen Group and actively generating synergies would play a vital role in maintaining momentum in a difficult period for the entire maritime sector. He concluded by wishing DDE all the best in their new offices.
DDE was also pleased to welcome Mr Stefan Hansum, Plant Manager at Van Oord, to the opening. He gave a presentation during which he shared some insights into dredging at Van Oord and described the performance of two Damen CSD (cutting suction dredger) 650s that his company has recently put into operation. Various other dredging-related activities also took place.
“It was a great day,” said Hendrik Jan de Kluiver, afterwards. “The new offices give us an inspirational setting from which to work, and we know that our customers and guests will enjoy the displays and exhibition and go away with an in-depth understanding of what we do and the history that underpins it.”