Damen Pioneers Shipbuilding and Vessel Supply for the Maritime Industry in Africa

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By Ndubuisi Micheal Obineme


Damen is an international shipyard group, operating 33 shipbuilding and repair yards with 9,000 employees worldwide. The company has delivered over 6,000 vessels in more than 100 countries and delivers some 180 vessels annually to clients worldwide.

Damen operates in the Africa’s Maritime Industry starting from Nigeria, South Africa, Ivory Coast, Angola and beyond. The company is playing a major role to improve, innovate and invest in the region. Based on its unique, standardised ship-design concept, Damen has received certification from Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance (LRQA) for aligning its quality and safety management systems with internationally recognized standards.

Recently, Damen Shipyards Galati manufactured a Fishery Research Vessel (FRV) 7417 for the Angolan Ministry of Fisheries. The sponsor of the vessel, named Baía Farta, was Dra. Isabel Cristóvão, director of Gabinete de Estudos, Planeamento e Estatística. The Ministry is a long-standing client of Damen, having previously taken delivery of two 62-metre Fishery Inspection Vessels 6210 and a smaller FRV 2808. This new vessel boasts a number of state-of-the-art features. The FRV has Silent A/F/R Class notation. Close attention is being paid to the design, construction and outfitting of the vessel in order to minimise noise and vibration both on board and underwater.

The FRV 7417 is suited to various purposes, including hydrographic operations, acoustics research, pelagic and demersal trawling, plankton, water, environmental and geographical sampling, oil recovery and emergency towing operations.
Friso Visser, Damen Regional Director Africa, said: “This vessel represents the future of fishery research, featuring cutting-edge technologies to make operations both sustainable and comfortable. She will enable the Angolan Fisheries Ministry to carry out research into its fishing grounds that will help to develop and preserve the nation’s industry and environment.”

Baía Farta features a basic design from Skipsteknisk. Her construction has been an international project, involving input from Damen Shipyards Gorinchem and Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding in the Netherlands, with building taking place at Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania.

Damen has also supplied four of its SPa 1605 ballistic protected security patrol vessels to C&I Leasing Plc, a leading player in the Nigerian offshore support vessel market. The patrol boats is used to provide security patrol and escort services for LNG tankers calling in and out of the Nigerian LNG Bonny terminal.

In previous years, Damen Shipyards Group signed a contract with Société de Transport Lagunaire (STL) to build sixteen shallow-draft passenger ferries for Ivory Coast. The contract represents part of a forward-thinking presidential plan that strives to reduce urban congestion and greenhouse gas emissions in Abidjan. The first four ferries was delivered in January 2017 and the rest will be delivered four at a time, every 8 weeks, in three batches.

Just over a year after it took delivery of two FCS 3307 Patrol vessels, Homeland Integrated Offshore Services Limited of Nigeria ordered one more of the same class with an option on a second, to be named Guardian 3 and Guardian 4. The two vessels are being supplied as a turnkey solution. The Damen Group is taking care of delivery and crew training, as well as the design and build. Damen’s Local Service Hub in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, ensures that maintenance, repairs and any additional support is handled by Damen engineers.

In addition to ship design and shipbuilding, Damen has a worldwide network of 16 repair and conversion yards with dry docks ranging up to 420 x 80 metres. Conversion projects range from adapting vessels to today’s requirements and regulations to the complete conversion of large offshore structures. Damen completes around 1,500 repair and maintenance jobs annually.

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