Anything but Standard: Damen Newbuild and Repair Group Targets Global Growth

By Eric Haun
Monday, October 28, 2013
Damen’s repair and conversion yard in Schiedam.

From a single newbuild and repair yard near Rotterdam in 1927, the family-owned Damen Shipbuilding group has expanded to 38 shipyards and related companies involved in new construction as well as repair and maintenance activities. Now with more than 8,000 employees and a presence in 34 countries, the Netherlands-based Damen group has become one of the world’s most successful shipbuilding businesses, thanks largely to its production methods and ever-expanding design portfolio.

When Kommer Damen began running the Damen company in 1969, he made changes to the company’s operations instantaneously. One of his first initiatives involved standardizing the construction of vessels based on modular building principles, a bedrock business principle that has driven the company’s growth for the last 40 years. Continuing its standardized mode of building today, Damen builds on spec and keeps stock of its most popular vessels, enabling buyers to obtain vessels in a matter of weeks, rather than months or years, with a competitive price tag, too.

Damen’s newbuilding activities presently includes a range of vessels in each of its niche markets, of which it delivers between 120-150 annually (more than 5,000 since 1969), including tugs, workboats, offshore support vessels, dredgers, navy and patrol craft, cargo ships, fast ferries, fishing vessels, barges and luxury yachts. Of Damen’s newbuilds, 22% are harbor services and shipping, 20% offshore and support, 20% security and patrol, 20% naval, 5% public transport, 8% yachts and 5% dredging.

The group’s annual turnover in 2012 was $2.3 billion, and the company projects between $2.4-2.6 billion for 2013. Newbuild commands the lion’s share (70%), with repair smaller (14%) but growing fast.  By region, Damen deliveries include 24% for the Netherlands, 33% for the rest of Europe, 11% the Americas, 13% Asia, 12% Africa and 7% Middle East.

Design Spotlight - The Axe Bow
A recent market changer is Damen’s Axe Bow concept. Attempting to improve seakeeping abilities and comfort of high-speed vessels, Damen’s Axe Bow has been in the works since the 1980s. Starting with the long-hulled “Enlarged Ship Concept,” Damen initially produced the Stan Patrol 4207 and 4708 in the 1990s. It wasn’t until the 2000s that the Axe Bow hull form was fully developed with the debut of “Sea Axe” patrol vessels and fast crew suppliers. Literally shaped like the head of an axe, the slender Axe Bow is designed to cut through seas at high speeds with reduced wave resistance. In addition to improving vessel operability, comfort and safety, Damen says the dramatic drag reduction cuts fuel usage by 20% and as a result also significantly reduces emissions.

Damen quickly incorporated the Sea Axe design into several of its market areas, producing builds from 19-67 meters in areas ranging from patrol vessels fast crew suppliers, even building a  “Twin Axe” catamaran. More than 100 vessels with the Sea Axe design have been sold since 2005, mostly for use offshore, with nearly 60 under construction at Damen yards globally.

Looking ahead, Damen plans to scale up in the following areas: offshore, harbor terminal and tugs, naval and patrol, dredging, defense and security, public transportation, government and naval, yachts and offshore energy.

Offshore
Damen admits the offshore newbuild sector is not a major contributor to its bottom line – for now. Damen’s offshore division has an annual turnover between $200-270 million, accounting for approximately 10% of its $2.3 billion total for the group in 2012. Damen’s first offshore vessel was a one-off supplier built in 1987, but the company’s offshore builds didn’t pick up until after the start of the new millennium when the company’s Brazilian partner Wilson Sons (see related story, page 54) inquired for the design of a platform supplier, which was built in 2007. This served as a turning point for the company, and Damen decided to increase its offshore building activity, keeping its basis in the Brazillian market. In 2010, Worldwide Supply placed an order for six new platform suppliers (two have already been delivered, while the remaining four are expected by the end of 2013, and an additional two are in production). Since 2007, Damen has received 50 orders in the offshore segment, including PSVs, cable layers, anchor handlers, seismic research vessels and oil spill response vessels.

Damen has capabilities for building offshore vessels in Holland, Vietnam, Romania, China and Brazil, with plans to expand, both in physical facilities and new design concepts.

“We are a big company, and we think the Offshore market is one of the niches where we can grow,” said Jan Van Os, Damen’s Offshore Director. “One of our goals is to become a key player in the offshore market.” He added, Damen is presently looking into other innovative offshore options that fit into the design capabilities and capacities of its yards for both short and long term, such as construction vessels, platform repair and maintenance vessels, arctic platform suppliers and cable laying vessels.

Harbor and Terminal Tugs
Damen is a leader in the design and build of harbor and terminal vessels, particularly its range of standard harbor tugs with bollard pull of up to 100 metric tons. Stock Damen terminal service vessels and tugs are available for operation nearly immediately upon order, perfectly epitomizing the benefits of Damen’s standardized building method and making the harbor and terminal sector Damen’s busiest. More than 80 Damen ASD tugs (Damen’s top harbor product) have been built since 2002. The Damen harbor portfolio includes a range of workboats for various tasks in ports and harbors. Work barges, skimmers, dregders, pilot boats, fire-fighting vessels, multi cats, survey vessels buoy tenders and security vessels are all offered by Damen, demonstrating the builder’s wide design and build capabilities.

Luxury Craft
Yachts make up 8% of Damen’s newbuild orders. It acquired Amels in the early 1990s and has expanded its yacht building capacities. In 2005, Damen introduced the Limited Editions concept, which comprises four models that allow customers to choose from stock builds and then choose paint, interior options and other features to create customized luxury vessels. Damen said its semicustom designs based on standardized building methods allow faster deliveries, top quality and higher resale values.

Naval and Patrol

Damen’s navy roots are deeply seeded in the company’s defense and security traditions. Damen has been the dedicated shipbuilder of the Royal Netherlands Navy for more than 50 years, having involvement in the design, engineering and construction of eight generations of combat and auxiliary vessels. Roughly 20% of Damen’s builds fall into the naval and security segment including inland, coastal and offshore patrol vessels; air defense and command frigates; landing personnel and vehicle craft; coast guard emergency rescue and multipurpose ships.

Repair
Damen Shiprepair and Conversion is a successful venture in its own right, contributing roughly $475 million of the group’s annual turnover. The business sector performs more than 1,500 repair jobs per year at its 16 repair yards throughout the world, approximately 50% of which comes from the offshore sector. The repair group has a focus on niche markets such as LNG, cruise and dredging for complex long-term projects, while many shorter-term general repair projects are completed as well to help keep the repair yards busy and profitable. Damen’s shiprepair services range from collision repair and engine damages to fire/water damages and rudder/tailshaft repair.

 

(As published in the October 2013 edition of Maritime Reporter & Engineering News - www.marinelink.com)

  • signature Damen ASD Tug

    signature Damen ASD Tug

  • The Axe Bow

    The Axe Bow

Maritime Reporter October 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Australian Defence Minister Says Would Not Trust Submarine Firm to Build Canoe

Australia's defence minister has said he would not trust state-owned Australian Submarine Corp (ASC) "to build a canoe", fuelling expectations that most work in

Matson Raises Guam, Micronesia Rates

Matson, Inc., a U.S. carrier in the Pacific, announced today that Matson Navigation Company, Inc. will raise its rates for the company's Guam/Commonwealth of the

Norwegian Buys Ship from Princess Cruises

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. announces fleet expansion for Oceania Cruises in 2016; Sirena to join sister ships Insignia, Regatta and Nautica   Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.

Shipbuilding

Bollinger Delivers 11th FRC to the US Coast Guard

Bollinger Shipyards, Inc. has delivered the William Trump, the 11th Fast Response Cutter (FRC) to the United States Coast Guard.   The announcement was made by Bollinger Chief Operating Officer,

Australian Defence Minister Says Would Not Trust Submarine Firm to Build Canoe

Australia's defence minister has said he would not trust state-owned Australian Submarine Corp (ASC) "to build a canoe", fuelling expectations that most work in

Newport News Lays Keel for Virginia-Class Sub

Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII), hosted a keel-laying ceremony Saturday for the future USS Washington (SSN 787), a

Ship Repair & Conversion

Damen to Refit Helix Well Intervention Vessel

After having docked and repaired the MSV Seawell in 2012 and DSV Well Enhancer earlier this year, Damen Shiprepair Vlissingen (DSV) was contracted by Helix UK to

Damen, Palfinger Upgrade North Sea Jack-Up Rig

With the support of Palfinger systems JUMP technology, Damen Shiprepair Vlissingen has completed an upgrade of a Keppel Fels ‘N’ Class drilling rig, one of the largest in the North Sea,

Dutch Yards May Need to Rethink Contract Structures

Rotterdam-based law firm AKD said a recent decision of the Dutch courts means that shipyards in The Netherlands may no longer be able to rely on the right to retain

Workboats

The Legal Consequences of 46 CFR Subchapter “M”

As the holiday season and the end of another year quickly approaches, the towing industry patiently waits for the Coast Guard to finalize the long-awaited towing vessel inspection rule.

Editorial: 75, 150 ... What’s in a Number?

It is not often that I break out the tux for my editorial picture, but this special edition dictates. I know that I should argue that all of our editions are special,

Brunswick Updates IMPACT Model Vessels

Brunswick Commercial & Government Products (BCGP) introduces 2015 model year updates to the 10-, 11- and 12-meter IMPACT models. Updates include a wider beam for more usable deck space,

Vessels

Bollinger Delivers 11th FRC to the US Coast Guard

Bollinger Shipyards, Inc. has delivered the William Trump, the 11th Fast Response Cutter (FRC) to the United States Coast Guard.   The announcement was made by Bollinger Chief Operating Officer,

Newport News Lays Keel for Virginia-Class Sub

Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII), hosted a keel-laying ceremony Saturday for the future USS Washington (SSN 787), a

World’s Largest Containership First Tested at MARIN

MARIN was delighted to take part in a truly historic milestone in the industry when Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) asked MARIN to investigate

 
 
Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Pipelines Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2587 sec (4 req/sec)