Smells like green spirit
Damen not only builds vessels for the Offshore Wind Industry, it also buys wind energy! In a bid to reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions, Damen Shipyards Gorinchem started buying all of its energy from North Sea wind farms in January. The greenhouse gases reduction programme is going to be rolled out to Damen’s production yards, with Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania starting its first reduction programmes soon.
Laure Jacquier, Coordinator Health & Safety, Environmental and Quality Assurance Management comments: “We really wanted to go beyond the Green House Gas Protocol and other international standards. We have clear emissions’ reduction targets in place but thought what else can we do. This led to a decision to buy green energy.”
Other initiatives include introducing LED lighting in the production halls, which is much more efficient and consumes substantially less energy and installing digital transformers to follow electricity consumption around the clock. Employees will soon be able to see this information on opening the intranet.
Close the door!
Additionally, there are many smaller things, she stresses. “For instance, we try to make everyone aware that closing the huge production hall doors as quickly as possible saves a lot of energy because a vast amount of heat immediately escapes and the whole building starts to cool down rapidly. These small things can really make a difference.”
A new five-storey office building in Gorinchem has also been designed with energy efficiency in mind and uses underfloor heating, top quality insulation and motion sensor lighting.
“When it comes to our vessels, Damen is already a forerunner in terms of applying the best technologies to make them more energy efficient but we want to go even further. These initiatives have the full commitment of the top management and they are also an important part of our Corporate Social Responsibility strategy. We want to have the highest possible health, quality, safety and environmental standards throughout the group’s operations, wherever they are in the world.”
In a unique move in the shipbuilding industry, Damen introduced its own quality brand in 2012 – the E3 hallmark.
Founded on the “E3” principles: Environmentally friendly, Efficient in operation and Economically viable, the hallmark takes the needs of the planet, the people operating the ship and the owner’s need to make a profit into account.
Damen was keen to go beyond existing regulations, with E3 encompassing many factors ranging from emissions to recycling vessels. On a case-by-case basis each vessel is evaluated against a list of specified criteria. These criteria include emissions to air and water and fuel consumption but additionally, sound and vibration levels, ergonomic measures and seakeeping behaviour – all of which improve the comfort of the crew.
Emissions to air such as CO2, NOx, SOx and particulates are considered, as are emissions to water, including sewage, waste streams, oil leaks and special paints need to have been applied, which are less damaging to the environment.
When the vessel comes to the end of its working life the ability to recycle it is also taken into account. Pieter Huyskens, Programme Manager Sustainability at Damen Research, comments: “The vessel should be disassembled easily. For instance, if sprayed-on insulation is used, this is much harder to remove than insulation plates when the vessel is decommissioned.” And in the event of an incident, fuel tanks should be protected so they don’t rupture on impact and they should be accessible from all sides so fuel can be pumped out easily.
E3 vessels need to have a Green Passport, whereby all hazardous materials and the quantities are listed. He stresses that Damen also asks all of its suppliers for this information as well.
Currently, Damen’s Platform Supply Vessel 3300, an LNG inland barge with an air-lubricated hull and a Hybrid tug, have been granted E3 status.