Damen Shipyards Group announced a new line of trailing suction hopper dredges – Marine Aggregate Dredger (MAD) 4000 and 5600 vessels. The dredge line was introduced in response to market research that showed the aggregate industry is facing rising demand and an aging fleet.
For offshore aggregate operations the new vessels will be able to work in North Sea conditions up to depths of -60 meters (-197 feet). These capabilities allow operators to mine sand and gravel in deeper waters farther from shore than preceding models.
The new line was designed in collaboration with Maritime Design and Engineering Services (MD&ES).
Olivier Marcus Damen’s product director for dredging said: “We’ve tailored the technical specifications of the designs in line with the port infrastructure in the region in which the dredgers will operate.” He also said the design can handle harsh weather conditions and the vessel can operate safely and comfortably.
Unlike traditional dredges the bow shape of the MAD vessels allows them to operate in adverse weather conditions. The bow shape de-sign also protects the sand and gravel cargo from green water ingress.
Damen said the design is based on the design for its Damen Offshore Carrier (DOC) and Plat-form Supply Vessel (PSV).
A submerged wear-resistant Damen dredge pump facilitates the loading of sand and gravel aboard the vessel. Once onboard the aggregate then passes through the heavy-duty dredges’ screening towers where giant sieves allow for a better assessment and classification of the mined material. Following this it is stored and de-watered in the vessel’s hopper – with a capacity of either 4000 or 5600 cubic meters.