Damen looks to the future

28 Jun 2017
Arnout Damen:

Arnout Damen: "Now is the right time for us to enter the market and build bigger ships for the offshore and cruise markets"

Maritime Journal was lucky enough to chat with Arnout Damen, chief commercial officer, Damen Shipyards, at Seawork 2017, where he outlined the group’s business strategy for the future.

“The first time we exhibited at Seawork was 1998. We like the event because many of our clients attend. It’s the right place for us to be because there are real vessels on show,” Mr Damen told MJ.

“It also helps us to keep an eye on what the competition is doing.”

It’s an important year for Damen as it marks its 90th birthday. The company has come a long way since it started building boats out of a small shed next to the family home. It now operates 35 shipyards globally and builds and repairs everything from tugs and barges, to trawlers and dredgers.

And now it is eyeing the offshore and cruise markets.

“Now is the right time for us to enter the market and build bigger ships for the offshore and cruise markets,” Mr Damen said.

“We will still specialise in smaller vessels of course, but our expertise is such that it lends itself to all types of vessels and bigger vessels are what the industry requires.”

Damen’s entry into the offshore market is already bearing fruit.

Damen had one of its newest vessels, a new type Renewables Service Vessel 3315, developed in close cooperation with Scottish company Delta Marine, on the quayside at Seawork this year.

The Voe Vanguard has been designed specifically for offshore wind support duties, but will also be able to take on tidal power support contracts too.

Being based on the highly successful Multicat design, the vessel can undertake all duties normally expected of a Multicat but has the addition of a spacious, unobstructed deck, DP2 and dedicated 4-point mooring.

The 33-metre vessel has a 42-tonne bollard pull and has a DP2 capability, which enables it to stay in position even in strong currents.

Delta Marine and Damen adapted the traditional Multicat design by moving the wheelhouse forward and leaving the aft deck open. Additionally, it was important to make sure the vessel was under the 500-tonne mark to keep the costs down.

The vessel is diesel electric and has four azimuths, with a large stern thruster.

It made its way to Seawork fresh from completing its first contract on the Walney Extension wind farm.

Damen is confident that this new type will establish itself quickly in the market.

And Mr Damen also indicated that in the near future the group will diversify even further into the hybrid market as a result of increased demand from its customers.

By Anne-Marie Causer

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