Damen-built dredge makes debut in Australia

The Damen-built trailing suction dredge Tommy Norton The Damen-built trailing suction dredge Tommy Norton

OCTOBER 16, 2017— Just 15 months after it initially cut steel for the vessel, China’s Damen Yichang Shipyard delivered 60m Tommy Norton, the first dredger to be built by Damen Shipyards Group for Australia.

Based on a Damen TSHD 650 design, the Tommy Norton is a trailing suction hopper dredge with the capability of dredging to depths up to 15 meters deep. The dredger was custom built for operation in the Gippsland Lakes region. It was built with bottom doors to enable self-emptying and can alternate between a bow connection and rainbow expulsion for beach reclamation work. In order to increase the vessel’s payload capacity when dredging sand with a high specific density, Damen reduced the vessel’s freeboard and applied a dredge mark.

Propelled by a pair of model SRP 330 fixed-pitch Schottel Rudderpropellers, the Tommy Norton is now working in the Gippsland Lakes region of Victoria, Australia, which includes a number of lakes, marshes and lagoons in southeast Australia. The Port of Gippsland Lakes is home to Victoria’s largest commercial fishing fleet and services commercial vessels and offshore oil and gas suppliers. The economic contribution to the region of the recreational boating and commercial fishing industries operating within and through the port exceeds A$200 million annually.

Geoff Hocking, Chair of Gippsland Ports, said, “We anticipate Tommy Norton will provide decades of safer and more reliable bar crossing in the same manner as its namesake did in the 1870’s prior to the creation of the artificial entrance.”


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