MARCH 16, 2015 — The Damen Yichang Shipyard in China, a joint venture between Damen Shipyards Group and Sinotrans CSC, is to offer a broader portfolio of vessels, adding other hi-tech vessels to the Damen-design cargo vessels that have been the yard's mainstay.
"Over the years the yard has achieved a good reputation for delivery time, reliability and quality," says Hans Voorneveld, Executive Director Damen Shipyards Group.
The Yichang yard has always excelled in the construction of cargo vessels up to 15,000 dwt. While it will continue to build such vessels, from now on, there will be an additional focus on other vessel types.
"We're looking at dredges, pontoons and barges, LNG/LPG tankers and offshore support vessels, such as platform suppliers," says Mr. Voorneveld.
The yard is already building a number of specialized pontoons, whilst plans for dredges are now being finalised. Finalization of plans for LPG tanker construction is expected imminently.
Damen Yichang Shipyard's cargo vessels have been mainly aimed at the Western European marketplace. The wider product range, however, will be going global.
"Already we are building pontoons for specialized projects in the Far East and Latin America, as well as for stock. The dredges also have an international market," Mr. Voorneveld states.
Current capacity at the yard is sufficient for Damen to simultaneously construct ten pontoons along with two dredges, LNG/LPG tankers or offshore support vessels.
Damen and Sinotrans are investing in developing the building and design process for complex vessels at the yard; however, pre-existing infrastructure — including its steel cutting facilities, six available berths for section building and assembly and sideways launching system — has enabled it to embark smoothly upon this new venture.
"Everything is already in place, the yard is completely up and running. There's an experienced workforce of around 1,000 personnel. We have been building high quality vessels at Damen Shipyards Yichang for a long time, this is more about adjusting the organization to new products," says Mr. Voorneveld. "Damen Yichang Shipyard is offering a new portfolio of sophisticated vessels in one integrated package – from engineering, steel building, outfitting and trials right through to commissioning."