Celebrations all round for Damen
Damen has enjoyed a period of celebrations including an award, a birthday and a new appointment involving two of its yards well known for their activities in tug building.
Starting first in the Middle East, Albwardy Damen is a joint venture between Albwardy Investment of Dubai and Damen Shipyard Group and was recently awarded Shipyard of the Year prize at Seatrade Middle East Maritime Awards Gala 2018. The event is described by Damen as “an influential award ceremony in the region, attracting a powerful cluster of maritime influencers and personalities.” The award winners were selected by maritime experts in a highly competitive procedure.
Albwardy Damen operates from three locations in the region and is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2018. It is active in a number of areas including ship repairs ashore and afloat and diving services. In the area of tug construction, perhaps most notable of late has seen delivery of the world’s biggest Rotortug, the sophisticated Infield Support Vessel RT Raven delivered to KT Marine Services Australia.
Just two weeks earlier the Damen party bus had been parked closer to home when Damen Maaskant Shipyards Stellendam celebrated the 70th anniversary of foundation of the yard. The occasion actually marked three events, the birthday itself along with the departure of managing director Frits van Dongen and the appointment of Eric Moerkerk in his place.
Founded by Piet Maaskant and his two sons in 1948, the yard subsequently came under the Damen umbrella and while perhaps best known for the construction of fishing vessels, Damen Maaskant is also involved in the area of tug construction, a visit to the yard at Stellendam will usually reveal a number of Damen’s stock tugs awaiting completion.
The most notable recent tug deliveries were the ground-breaking Robert Allan Ltd-designed Carrousel RAVE tugs Multratug 32 and Multratug 33 built by Damen Stellendam for Multraship from hulls fabricated in Germany. The importance of these tugs was evident when Multraship and its innovation arm Novatug won the Maritime KVNR Shipping award 2018.
Turning to the personnel changes, Frits van Dongen has clocked up 40 years’ service with Damen and will continue with the company in a partial-retirement capacity. Erik Moerkerk previously worked at Keppel Verolme shipyard which became part of Damen in September 2016.
By Peter Barker
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