Concordia Damen recently delivered a special project for a Nigerian dredging company, the conversion of a Dutch barge into a dredger.
The Trailing Suction Hopper Dredger (TSHD) ‘Sayonara’ has already entered into operation and is at work on the Lagos lagoon.
“This project is special, there are only a few inland shipping vessels turned dredgers in the world,” Saskia den Herder, Damen, told MJ.
”As a small team, Concordia Damen pulled off an amazing feat to turn an existing vessel into a fit-for-purpose vessel for a completely different market and different use. The vessel has been fully customised down to the choice and location of the loading and discharging equipment. This has all be done to maximise operational efficiency on the specific dredging project in Nigeria.”
Converting an inland shipping barge instead of building a new-build dredger has several advantages, according to the yard.
Because of the fast delivery time and because it saves money at the bottom line, it is a very attractive option for dredging businesses.
Three years ago, the Werkendam shipyard came into contact with the Nigerian dredging company via Damen Shipyards Gorinchem.
This eventually led to the start of the complex conversion project in December 2021.
All the dredging equipment for the new vessel is supplied by Damen Dredging - the same installations that are usually fitted in newbuilds.
These include a 500 mm trailing suction pipe, gantries, winches, the dredge pump and valves. The refitted TSHD has a capacity of about 1,400 m3.
The barge conversion was completed in close cooperation with several trusted suppliers, including system integrator, Werkina Werkendam.
To create the necessary space for the dredge pump - with drive and various dredging pipes - Concordia Damen cut the ‘Sayonara’ in half and extended it with 7.5m and a special pump chamber.
After extensive testing to ensure that the vessel, once in Nigeria, would not experience any teething problems, Jumbo-SAL-Alliance’s HLV Fairplayer transported the special TSHD to the customer in Lagos.