Dredging specialist joins the team at the Australian Service Hub
Damen’s Australian Service Hub, Damen Services Brisbane Pty Ltd., which officially opened at the end of 2013 will now have a specialist, dredging engineer based on site.
Vincent Maes, Damen Sales Manager Asia Pacific, comments: “It is always important to be close to our customers and help them. Damen is known for its close customer contact and after-sales support. This is one reason we opened our Service Hub in Brisbane, to have specialists available in the same time zone so we have closer contact with our customers. We have also established a local supplier network with our main OEMs, which again leads to reduced response times and is an advantage for our clients.”
Located close to the city’s port, Damen Services Brisbane Pty Ltd. serves Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. The Service Hub is busy handling warranty and maintenance issues, and preparing and assisting during vessel deliveries, and hopefully soon supplying spare parts from the on-site warehouse.
Currently, there are around 80 Damen vessels in the region. Most of these are tugs although Damen received an order for a 650 m3 capacity, trailing suction hopper dredger from Gippsland Ports at the end of 2015. The TSHD is actually the first Damen dredger to operate in the region. The client will mainly use the dredger for maintenance works at Lakes Entrance in the State of Victoria. The TSHD is due to be delivered in the third or fourth quarter next year.
Furthermore, a Damen DOP 250 pump was sold in April 2016 and was already commissioned in August. Mr Maes says: “The DOP pump is now fully operational on a project in Newcastle (New South Wales) with a happy customer, and it probably won’t take too long before Damen sells the first cutter dredger in the region!” he hints.
Mr Maes adds: “Although the market is difficult, the oil and ore prices have dropped and shipyard orders are going down, we are still delivering vessels. We make the difference in standing close by our customers, thinking along with them and, finally, finding the right solution for the right price and with top quality.”
Surveys and repairs
Many Damen vessels in the region are also due for their five-year survey, so Damen Services Brisbane can assist customers with these too.
Arie Jonas, Damen Area Service Manager, says: “In the future Damen is planning to expand its service activities in the region to include drydock supervision, specialist technical assistance and to provide more training possibilities.” The Damen Services’ Brisbane team can arrange simulator training either at Smartship in Brisbane or at the group’s simulator centre , 360-control, which is based near Amsterdam.
Damen’s local customers have access to the Damen Services web portal where they can submit their requests and warranty claims, find information about the progress of warranty claims/spare parts, and download drawings and manuals related to their fleet.
Cooperation with Sydney yard
In a further boost to the company’s presence in Australia, Damen signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Sydney City Marine in June. This cooperation covers the repair and maintenance of Damen-built vessels in Australia and New Zealand.
Damen’s role includes the provision of specialist technical assistance, engineering capacity, parts and equipment, while Sydney City Marine will perform repair and maintenance works on Damen-built vessels. This will include steel works, painting, boiler making, pipe-fitting and carpentry, in addition to the supply of construction materials. Sydney City Marine will have access to the full range of Damen’s spare parts, expertise and equipment.
Mr Jonas says: “Damen has a strong brand in Australia but this new cooperation means we can offer turnkey solutions for vessels needing a drydocking or repairs or we can provide specialist engineers capable of taking on hydraulics, Praxis, ICAF and winch jobs. It is really beneficial for customers to have a local yard that can arrange everything and that understands the local market.”
Sydney City Marine is a modern shipyard that provides comprehensive repair and maintenance services for a wide range of vessels up to 60 metres in length. With ISO 9001:2015 certification, the yard has deepwater access and an 800-tonne capacity ship lift. The first steps in the working relationship between Sydney City Marine and Damen have already been taken with the Australian yard completing the engineering of an ASD tug cradle.