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Next generation - first vessel launched

The first of a new generation of efficient and economical dredgers, specialising in the extraction of sand and gravel from the seabed, has been launched at Damen Shipyards Galati (DSGa) in Romania.

The result of close cooperation between CEMEX UK Marine and Damen, the 103.5m MAD 3500 is to be named the ‘CEMEX Go Innovation’ and represents the start of a new era for an aggregates industry that is faced with an aging fleet of vessels and an increased focus on marine activity.

Extensive market research and customer consultation led to the development of the MAD concept; designed around the need for 21st century vessels that can deliver safety, efficiency, minimal environmental impact and crew comfort meanwhile achieving maximum uptime in a work environment that places great stresses on a vessel and its equipment

Additional features of the new vessel intended to maximise productivity and minimise maintenance include excellent seakeeping for both crew comfort and all-weather operability, and an enclosed bow to protect deck equipment and reduce green water ingress into the cargo hold. All the dredge pipes are situated above main deck level for safety as well as easy inspection and crane reach, and the modular construction of the Damen designed and built dredge systems ensures quick and easy replacement of worn parts on the piping and screening installation. The MAD 3500 has a hopper capacity of 3,500m³.

Laurence Dagley, managing director, CEMEX Materials UK Southern, commented: “It was very exciting to see our state-of-the-art dredger, ‘CEMEX Go Innovation’, and participate in the traditional launch ceremony with Damen. This is a ground-breaking ship that leads the industry thanks to the major environmental savings that it offers, its increased capacity and dredging depth, and its safety-enhancing external pipework. We look forward to the ‘CEMEX Go Innovation’ arriving in the UK and beginning its work early next year.”

“The cooperation between Damen and CEMEX UK Marine has been excellent,” says Damen sales manager dredging for north, west and south Europe Joppe Neijens,. “It has been a very smooth process and we have built the vessel together, using the original Damen MAD concept as the basis for a vessel optimised to meet the needs of CEMEX. They challenged us to meet their requirements and as a joint team we made it happen. This new dredger will differentiate itself from the current fleet and set a new standard in the industry. As such, the ‘CEMEX Go Innovation’ represents the start of a new era. I can’t wait to see the vessel sailing.”

Now launched, and with much of the deck equipment including the Damen designed and built screening installation installed, the MAD 3500 will complete its fitting out with commissioning due to begin at the end of the year, followed by delivery in the early spring of 2020.

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