A new CSD for Heuvelman-Ibis
Dutch dredging and civil engineering company Heuvelman-Ibis
Erik Stuut, Managing Director of Dutch dredging and civil engineering company Heuvelman-Ibis, is standing next to the company’s newest asset: the Groningen, a Damen Cutter Suction Dredger 350. With the first dredging project underway, and a second contract already secured, the decision to buy is clearly paying off.
In introducing Heuvelman-Ibis, Mr Stuut shows how the company, which was founded around 40 years ago, has grown into a multidisciplinary operation. “We have two offices located in the Netherlands and one in Germany. And our skills set includes maintenance dredging, dike and dam wall construction, coastal protection and hydrological surveys.”
“From starting out with one floating platform four decades ago, we now have 12 floating assets and 16 cranes. We can take on inland projects as well as work in and around harbour entrances,” he explains. “However, a couple of years ago we decided that we were lacking a cutter suction dredger in our equipment portfolio. We had missed out on a number of contracts that required one, so we started looking at the various possibilities.”
“We started talking to Damen about a new vessel, and straightaway there was a ‘click’ between us. We sat down together and worked out what we needed. Of course they want to sell vessels, but it’s more than that. They have a philosophy; a way of thinking about how operations should take place. They were very involved, and still are to this day – it was a very pleasant cooperation.
For a company in the process of purchasing its first cutter suction dredger, deciding on the ideal vessel of choice is paramount. In terms of dredging production capacity, for instance, Damen’s standard CSDs deliver figures between 1,000 and 7,000 m3/hour. “The CSD350 has the extra performance that we need. We did require some modifications such as the addition of a spud carriage and anchor booms. In fact this is Damen’s first CSD350 with a spud carriage – meaning that the vessel can determine its own position at the worksite without needing a support boat.”
The Groningen also has production measurement equipment installed. This, he says, is due to the fact the transparency is a key aspect in modern dredging activities. “Our clients require daily production reports. With this additional equipment, it is straightforward to supply this information.”
Further supplementing the Groningen’s performance, and also giving more flexibility for taking on contracts involving larger worksites, comes from the decision to purchase two booster stations. “Of course this depends on the material that we are working with, but these booster stations give us even more capacity. One booster is enough for silt, but the second one is needed when we are working with heavy sand. And, in addition to performance, we also chose the CSD350 for its mobility. We can disassemble it and transport it to a new jobsite with just three trailers if we need to.”
A notable aspect of the Groningen contract is the timing. This is because Heuvelman-Ibis first secured a dredging contract that required a CSD before finalizing the deal with Damen. “It was very important, therefore, that their delivery time matched our requirements,” notes Mr Stuut. “So we made some clear agreements with Damen regarding the need for a fast delivery – and these were flawlessly executed.”
After sales support
Since Heuvelman-Ibis took delivery of the Groningen, the company has remained in close contact with Damen to discuss the various opportunities the vessel can open up. “For example, we consult with them about how we can best tackle a certain job, about performance, distances involved and what materials we want to dredge,” he explains. “This ongoing service and advice is very important to us. And, although we haven’t reached the point yet when need any spare parts or maintenance, we have complete faith that we will also receive this support when required.”
At the time these accompanying photos were taken, the Groningen was due to start its first dredging contract the following week. “We will be keeping production to a maximum on this first job,” says Mr Stuut proudly. “After all, the second contract has already been finalised and we have a schedule to keep!”