Insight

Submerging into the deep Rotterdam waters

This movie shows a time lapse of ZPMC’s heavy lift vessel Zhen Hua 29 entering the Calandkanaal at the port of Rotterdam after a seven-week journey from China. What this impression doesn’t show is…

That the 245-meter long Chinese semi-submergible ship carried a special delivery for Damen Shipyards. In the almost 24 meter deep and sheltered waters of the Calandkanaal the Zhen Hua 29 submerged and discharged a stack of seven pontoons, four tugboats and four tenders while it was moored to buoys and dolphins.

The Damen tugs, tenders and pontoons delivered to Rotterdam are unique. Or not, if you look at it differently. Damen Group, a worldwide operating shipbuilder of Rotterdam origin, is one of few shipbuilding companies that build for stock. For each type of ship or barge Damen has a standard hull design that can easily be adapted by adding modules. Once a year Damen sends a large shipment of these built-for-stock hulls from China to the port of Rotterdam to be able to uphold ultra-short delivery times as demand rises. In 2013 170 deliveries were made.

In Rotterdam the shipbuilder has all the facilities needed to complete the standard hulls. This ground-breaking concept of standardization and modular construction makes it possible to deliver a brand new pontoon or vessel completely fitted to clients’ needs within two months time. So it won’t be long before these hulls will leave the port again, on their way to a new owner.

The port of Rotterdam is ideally suited for large shipments as the one for Damen. Thanks to the deep draft, the sheltered waters and no limitations in terms of tides or locks the port of Rotterdam is 24/7 accessible for even the largest ships.

Frank Koppelaar

Product Director Pontoons & Barges - Damen Shipyards Group

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