DISCOVER Magazine #7

Transporting valuable cargo

Published in category: Dredging & Marine Contracting

Walter Herchenhorn Damen DOP

Andreas Flensborg
Sales and Marketing Manager

UHL delivers two CSDs 500 to Bangladesh

Many Damen built vessels make the journey from the yard to their new owners on their own keel. Sometimes this can involve small vessels making some epic voyages. At the end of 2017, a 28-metre ASD Tug 2810 sailed the 6,635nm from Damen Song Cam Shipyard in Vietnam to Tahiti in the middle of the Pacific Ocean without incident.

Dredgers, however, are not generally designed for trans-oceanic voyages or the heavy seas that can accompany them, so when Damen had completed the build for two standardised CSDs 500 in the Netherlands for clients in Bangladesh, the 8,000 nm voyage on their own hulls was never an option. Instead Damen turned to the heavy lift market.


No job too big

Heavy lift vessels combine powerful cranes, open decks and capacious holds to move the largest loads both short and long distances and it is a competitive market with a number of operators vying for business. Damen has extensive experience of the sector, and for this project selected United Heavy Lift (UHL) based on its availability and keen pricing.

Hamburg-based UHL is a relative newcomer to the market, having been founded in 2015, and operates a varied and modern fleet. “We also offer our customers additional services that make the project heavy lifting experience a smooth one,” says Andreas Flensborg, Sales and Marketing Manager at UHL.

“Our associated company United Engineering Solutions (UES) gives us an unrivalled in-house engineering capability. Our dedicated specialists ensure that each cargo is lifted and stored on board to the highest standards. They study the cargo specifications, perform the rigging calculations and determine the lifting arrangements. This includes undertaking the securing calculations and designing the lashing systems and sea fastening solutions. UES will also arrange a port captain who will be at the port of loading and the port of discharge, making sure that everything proceeds according to the lifting plan. It all means that we can guarantee a seamless operation and minimise the risks of any damage.”

Record breaking

Prior to the shipment of the two dredgers, UHL had taken its expertise to new heights with the shipment of 24 tugs, launches and a Multi Cat built at Damen’s yards in Changde and Yichang, China, to Rotterdam on board the MV Tasmanic Winter. This was the largest ever such shipment for both Damen and UHL and required detailed evaluation followed by intense planning by UES. However, by combining what was originally envisaged as two shipments into one, the costs were reduced without any loss of safety or overall quality.

“This represented another first for us as she took the Arctic route from China to Europe,” added Andreas Flensborg. “Not only did it shorten the passage by two to three weeks, it also resulted in a big reduction in fuel consumption, cutting both cost and emissions.”

Just a few days later, the MV Tasmanic Winter was loading up again in Rotterdam for a return trip to Asia, this time with a mixed cargo from a number of different clients. One of these was again Damen, and this time the cargo was the two CSDs 500, newly built at Damen Dredging Equipment at Nijkerk in the Netherlands, bound for Mongla, Bangladesh.

“While there were much fewer vessels involved, this project brought its own challenges,” continues Andreas Flensborg. “This was not your average lift. The innovative Damen dredgers had to be treated as delicate cargo. With the dredging equipment extending beyond the bow special arrangements had to be made to ensure that no damage was caused during the on and offloading process and that everything was secure for the passage. UES’s expert engineering played a vital role in this.”


Good teamwork

Since UHL was established in 2015, it and Damen have developed a close relationship, with a number of large shipments taking place in the last two years. “Shipments involving more than a few commercial vessels are not that common and a shipment like the recent one with 24 tugs is incredibly rare,” says Andreas Flensborg. “And very few yards if any do it on the scale and frequency that Damen does. Damen is now one of our biggest clients.

“As a top client we aim to keep in close touch with Damen, and together we have executed some exceptional projects, with Tasmanic Winter’s Arctic passage at the top of the list. We are one of the only heavy lift operators with ice-class vessels and this was an excellent demonstration of our capabilities.”

The two CSDs 500 are now at work in Bangladesh on maintenance works for the country’s more than 8,000 km of inland waterways, which represent a vital transport network for its economy. A leader in the international dredging market, Damen has been active in Bangladesh for over 40 years with the CSD 500 a particularly popular and proven model, known for its high production and lowest cost per cubic metre of dredged material.

A local Damen Service Hub provides training as well as servicing and local spare parts. With luck, more Damen dredgers will be making their way there in the future, quite possibly under the watchful eye of UHL.


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