CEMEX UK Marine Limited has placed an order for the first Damen Marine Aggregate Dredger (MAD). The vessel, which will be built at Damen Shipyards Galati, in Romania, is designed to extract sand and gravel from the sea bed up to depths of 55 meters, including in the challenging conditions experienced in the North Sea.
Damen said the MAD is the result of extensive market research and customer consultation. A new, future-facing vessel of this type is aligned with an aggregate industry faced with an aging fleet of vessels and an increased focus on marine activity.
CEMEX UK is a leader in the building materials industry with over 3,000 employees, supplying aggregates, cement, concrete and other building solutions. The company has a preexisting relationship with Damen, having utilized the service of Damen Shiprepair Amsterdam for maintenance of their vessels. When approaching Damen, the client had a clear set of requirements, as Laurence Dagley, Director CEMEX UK Marine explained, “We wanted a cutting edge design, something for the 21st century with all the safety, efficiency, environmental and on board comfort credentials this implies. Achieving a maximum uptime within what can be a challenging working environment is also important to us. Damen accepted the challenges that we gave them, delivering a robust yet innovative design that demonstrates the combined experience and ingenuity of our respective teams. Proudly wearing CEMEX colors, this new ship represents the start of our ambition to modernize our fleet over the coming years, to serve the increasing need for marine dredged aggregates in the U.K.”
The MAD 3500 design has the optimal balance between payload and efficiency within limited dimensions. With a specific lock passage limiting the vessel’s overall length to 103.5 meters, a deadweight of just under 7,000 metric tons and a speed at loaded draught of approximately 12 knots are still achieved. In comparison to CEMEX’s current vessel, Sand Heron, which the new ship will replace, this translates into an additional 20 percent of aggregates that can be delivered per trip.
The vessel will boast Lloyd’s Register ECO-notation, courtesy of its green credentials as well as a CAC-3 notation offering a high standard of crew comfort.
The optimal uptime the client required comes courtesy of a number of features. Included is exceptional seakeeping behavior, offering crew comfort in rough seas and the capability to work in heavy weather conditions. The bow is enclosed, protecting deck equipment and reducing green water ingress into the cargo hold. A user-friendly approach to maintenance also helps to maximize uptime. All dredge pipes are situated above main deck level for safety, as well as easy inspection and crane reach. Besides this, the modular construction of the Damen designed and built dredge systems makes for the easy replacement of wear parts on the piping and screening installation.