The first of Damen’s new Marine Aggregate Dredger class, a 103.5 metre MAD 3500, has been launched at Damen Shipyards Galati (DSGa) in Romania. The vessel, to be named the CEMEX Go Innovation, is the result of close cooperation between CEMEX UK Marine and Damen and represents the first of a new generation of efficient and economical dredgers specialising in the extraction of sand and gravel from the seabed.
The ceremony involved the full team from owner CEMEX UK Marine as well as representatives from Damen’s head office in Gorinchem, the Netherlands and Damen Shipyards Mangalia, Romania, where the build began in July 2018. This carried on to the start of this year when the vessel was transferred to Damen Shipyards Galati, Romania for the final stages of the project.
Damen and CEMEX have worked jointly on the development of the MAD 3500 from its earliest stages and the design is the result of extensive market research and customer consultation. As such, the CEMEX Go Innovation represents the start of a new era for an aggregates industry that is faced with an aging fleet of vessels and an increased focus on marine activity. The MAD concept as a whole has been designed around the need for 21st century vessels that can deliver safety, efficiency, minimal environmental impact and crew comfort. At the same time, they must achieve maximum uptime in a work environment that places great stresses on a vessel and its equipment.
Additional features of the new vessel intended to maximise productivity and minimise maintenance include excellent seakeeping for both crew comfort and all-weather operability, and an enclosed bow to protect deck equipment and reduce green water ingress into the cargo hold. All the dredge pipes are situated above main deck level for safety as well as easy inspection and crane reach, and the modular construction of the Damen designed and built dredge systems ensures quick and easy replacement of worn parts on the piping and screening installation. The MAD 3500 has a hopper capacity of 3,500m³.
Following its launch and with much of the deck equipment, including the Damen designed and built screening installation installed, the MAD 3500 will complete its fitting out with commissioning due to begin at the end of the year, followed by delivery in the early spring of 2020.
Laurence Dagley, managing director, CEMEX Materials UK Southern, commented: “It was very exciting to see our state-of-the-art dredger, CEMEX Go Innovation, and participate in the traditional launch ceremony with Damen. This is a ground-breaking ship that leads the industry thanks to the major environmental savings that it offers, its increased capacity and dredging depth, and its safety-enhancing external pipework. We look forward to the CEMEX Go Innovation arriving in the UK and beginning its work early next year.”
“The cooperation between Damen and CEMEX UK Marine has been excellent,” says Damen sales manager dredging for north, west and south Europe Joppe Neijens,. “It has been a very smooth process and we have built the vessel together, using the original Damen MAD concept as the basis for a vessel optimised to meet the needs of CEMEX. They challenged us to meet their requirements and as a joint team we made it happen. This new dredger will differentiate itself from the current fleet and set a new standard in the industry. As such, the CEMEX Go Innovation represents the start of a new era. I can’t wait to see the vessel sailing.”