IHC Merwede held a naming and launch ceremony for the 12000 cubic meter hopper dredge Gateway on September 26. The event took place at the company’s yard in Hardinxveld-Giessendam the Netherlands.
The dredge is being built for Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. The ceremony was conducted by Mrs. M.J.A. Smits-Schiebroek the spouse of ir. drs. H.N.J. Smits CEO of Rotterdam Port Authority N.V.
IHC Merwede and Boskalis signed a contract in November 2007 for the design engineering and construction of two identical hopper dredges. The assignment is unusual in that the ships are being built at the same time at two different IHC Merwede yards. The keel of the Gateway was laid on February 4 2009. Completion is planned for the first quarter of 2010. Her sister ship is under construction at IHC Dredges in Kinderdijk the Netherlands and will be launched in mid-February 2010.
During the design phase the emphasis was on keeping the weight of the vessel relatively low while maximizing hopper capacity.
The Gateway has a single suction pipe with an underwater pump allowing it to dredge to a depth of 62 meters. The ship has two hoppers one in the bow and one in the stern with the pump room in between. This improves trim in shallow waters. In addition the dredge has a high pump capacity so that it can transport large volumes over a considerable distance. These specifications make the vessel suitable for a range of projects throughout the world whether they involve large-scale land reclamation beach replenishment or the construction of ports and waterways.