DISCOVER Magazine #7

Energy, Security, Stability

Published in category: People

Damen is currently upgrading its yard capabilities around the world. New shipyards are to be completed this year in Vietnam, as well as Sharjah (UAE).

By the time you receive this magazine, a new and exciting year is underway for Damen. A healthy orderbook and many promising new projects accompany us into 2013. Against the backdrop of another European economic downturn I am happy to report a profitable 2012 for Damen. In fact over the past five years Damen has been able to maintain its turnover and profitability at constant levels.

The fact that Damen’s activities are well-spread, both geographically and as to products offered, helps to secure the stability of the Group. A good example is the order for Australia’s DMS who entrusted Damen with a multiple ship order for tugs, bunker barges and two complex support vessels for the Royal Australian Navy. These vessels will be built at various Damen yards in Asia.

Damen is currently upgrading its yard capabilities around the world. New shipyards are to be completed this year in Vietnam, as well as Sharjah (UAE). In the past year Damen took over ship repair and conversion yards in Sweden, France and the Netherlands to strengthen Damen’s European ship repair and conversion network, so that we may offer our customers repair services in the main ports of Northern Europe.

As to new building, Damen will continue to expand in niche markets. The energy and security markets will continue to be strong pillars for future growth.

The world of shipbuilding will be under pressure for the next years. This means we have to double our efforts to deliver quality vessels with top service at a competitive cost price and with even shorter delivery times. Fortunately more than 7,000 Damen employees are committed to pursuing these goals and serving our customers.

In the meantime Health, Safety and the Environment will remain high on the agenda for Damen. Fuel consumption is not only an environmental issue, it is also a serious cost element affecting ship operation. Damen Research will strive for better, and more fuel efficient vessels, working in close cooperation with universities and research institutes.

Last but not least, we would like to thank our employees, subcontractors and suppliers to have built the best vessels for all our valued customers.

René Berkvens. Chief Executive Officer

For René the first experience of Damen came when he was studying naval architecture and he came on a three-month work placement to the group. Later on, he also wrote his thesis about Damen. Originally when he first applied it was a difficult time in the shipping industry so he went off to seek career opportunities in the UK and US.

Four years later René returned to the Netherlands and joined Damen as a junior sales manager in Africa. After six years in Africa he then moved on to become Sales Director of the Americas where he was for a further eight years.

His next move with the group was Managing Director at Damen’s Headquarters in Gorinchem and then subsequently he spent four years heading up Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding. René became a Board member in 2000 and in 2006 Chief Executive Officer.

Favourite Damen vessel

“The Stan Tug 1.”
“It embodies everything that makes Damen successful – it is like the Volkswagen Beetle: the model of models. It is essentially the basis of our success.

The Stan Tug 1 has the quality and was very price competitive at the time in the seventies and eighties. We have built hundreds of them and they have established the Damen reputation worldwide.”

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