Officials at the contract signing ceremony

Officials at the contract signing ceremony

Saqr Port signs deal for Damen tug

Albwardy Damen is also currently building three large rotor tugs and a self-propelled jack-up barge, as well as some smaller ASD tugs and cutter suction dredgers

01 June 2017

Saqr Port, part of Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Ports, has signed a contract with the Damen Shipyards Group for the delivery of an ASD 2913 tug.

The vessel will be built a short distance away at Albwardy Damen in Sharjah and will be delivered in time for the opening of the new bulk terminal at Saqr Port in mid-2018, said a statement from Damen.

Saqr Port is the major bulk-handing port in the Middle East and a vital part of the regional economy. Located at the foot of the Hajar Mountains, it serves the fast-growing quarry industry in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah.

Each year 55 million tonnes of bulk materials are exported through the port to countries around the Arabian Gulf, and RAK Ports are currently adding new deep-water berths capable of handling capesize vessels.

Damen’s regional sales team worked closely with Saqr Port to determine the class of tug that would be most suitable for its requirements.

The need was for a vessel that is both compact and powerful, so as to be able to handle the large carriers at the new terminal and work within the confines of the harbour.

At the same time, the proximity of the Hajar Mountains means that the port can experience sudden and very strong winds. The ASD 2913 was ultimately selected due to its having all the necessary attributes, including 80 tonnes of bollard pull within a 29-metre hull, plus high freeboard and a raised quarterdeck for safe operations in rough seas.

An artist impression of Damen ASD Tug 2913

An artist impression of Damen ASD Tug 2913

The contract was signed at the beginning of April by Captain Cliff Brand, group general manager, and Kommer Damen, in recognition of RAK Ports’ valued status as a long-standing customer of the Damen Shipyards Group.

The RAK Ports fleet already includes an ASD 2411 and a 2310, as well as five Damen Stan Tugs.

“We are delighted to be building for the UAE, in the UAE,” says Pascal Slingerland, sales manager Middle East for Damen.

“Albwardy Damen continues to go from strength-to-strength, providing a comprehensive new build and repair service to the UAE and the wider Arabian Gulf, and it is our pleasure to be working with our near-neighbours at Saqr Port.”

Alongside this latest order Albwardy Damen, until recently known as Damen Shipyards Sharjah, is also currently building three large rotor tugs and a self-propelled jack-up barge, as well as some smaller ASD tugs and cutter suction dredgers.

Captain Michael Magee, Harbour Master at RAK Ports, said: “The port is delighted to have agreed a deal with Damen to build the 2913 locally. Damen’s proven quality product and their flexibility, with respect to build location, secured them the contract.”

“The 2913 with 80 tonnes bollard pull will complement the seven tugs currently at Saqr Port, and give additional power to receive capesize vessels,” he added.

Damen collaborates to develop 3D printed ship propeller

Meanwhile, Damen Shipyards Group has entered a cooperative consortium with RamLab, Promarin, Autodesk and Bureau Veritas, which marks a major step forward in the application of 3D printing techniques in the maritime sector.

The goal of this group of companies is to develop the world’s first class approved 3D printed ship’s propeller, to be called the WAAMpeller, said a statement from Damen.

Damen’s involvement in the project began just over a year ago as a result of one of its in-house student research programmes, it said.

Kees Custers, project engineer in Damen’s research and development department, said: “Three students from Delft Technical University were investigating the potential of 3D printing for us. They brought us into contact with the other members of the consortium.”

“What is quite unique about this group of five companies is that, while we have joint interests, we also have individual aims. This leads to a very productive and cooperative atmosphere in what is a very exciting project,” Custers said.

The propeller will be based on a Promarin design that is typically found on a Damen Stan Tug 1606. This 1,300 mm diameter propeller weighs approximately 180 kg. Using Autodesk software in the construction process, Port of Rotterdam’s RamLab will fabricate the WAAMpeller from a bronze alloy using the Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) process.

Bureau Veritas will be involved in the certification of the completed product; in what will be the first time that a metal 3D printed maritime component will be approved by Class.

Once the propeller has been printed, Damen’s role will continue with full-scale trials. “We will be performing a comprehensive programme that will include bollard pull and crash test scenarios. Our ambition is to demonstrate that the research phase for 3D printing in the maritime sector is over, and that it can now be effectively applied inoperations.”

The first propeller is expected to be printed by summer 2017, with subsequent testing occurring in the autumn.

Damen invests considerable resources into its various research and development programmes.

“Our aim is to build more effective, more cost-efficient and more environment friendly vessels,” comments Damen’s principle research engineer Don Hoogendoorn.

“The WAAMpeller project contributes to this goal because it not only marks an important advance in 3D printing, but it also has the potential to yield significant results in optimising future vessel designs. 3D printing technology brings with it an excellent opportunity to improve ship structures in terms of both performance and fuel consumption,” he added.

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