Following the arrival of the Royal Netherlands Navy Joint Support Ship 'Karel Doorman' at Vlissingen, Alewijnse Marine Systems say they are now on the second stage of a four year project to install the electrical systems on this exceptionally sophisticated vessel.
The contract was awarded by Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding at the end of 2010 and is for the installation of the ship-wide electrical systems including those for command and control, environmental systems and power distribution and monitoring systems.
The first stage of the build of the 205-metre, 28,000 tonne naval vessel took place at the Damen facility at Galati, Romania, with the electrical installation being handled by Alewijnse subsidiary Alewijnse Marine Galati (AMG). As with all projects of this complexity, it was not without its challenges: cable pulling and cable connecting on such a scale raised a number of issues that requited rapid solutions. However, rising to the task, AMG moved to double shifts and completed the entire Galati programme in just 28 weeks. By the time the vessel left the yard, AMG had installed nearly 500 kilometers of cabling and connected approximately 135,000 cable cores.
The delivery of the cable routing and dressing is a source of pride for AMG. The medium voltage and degaussing cables in particular, given their length and diameter, presented a challenge when it came to pulling and dressing, but recent investment by AMG in specialist cable pulling equipment contributed to both faster and easier installation.
With the Karel Doorman now at Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding, Vlissingen, the AMG team is currently working to make the 440V power system operational and activating the lighting systems to ensure that the vessel is safe for personnel to work onboard. After that the focus switches to commissioning and finalising the installations in the individual areas of the vessel in time for the handover to the Royal Netherlands Navy in July 2014.
When completed the JSS will be the largest ship in the Royal Netherlands Navy. She is being designed to act as a fully-armed, robust, multi-functional platform capable of replenishing other ships at sea, to operate as a mobile base for helicopters, and for the transport of personnel and heavy equipment. Furthermore the vessel can play a major role in humanitarian and disaster relief operations. The vessel will carry 150 crew and up to 150 embarked forces.