Damen Shipyards has won a contract to supply a multipurpose tug to Ports of Jersey to expand its capabilities in the UK’s Channel Islands
Ports of Jersey has ordered a Shoalbuster 2711 vessel from one of Damen’s shipyards in the Netherlands, for delivery in Q4 2021. This is the second Damen-built vessel Ports of Jersey will own as it has operated a Shoalbuster 2709-design tug Duke of Normandy for the past 15 years.
Damen will outfit this Shoalbuster 2711 vessel with around 40 tonnes of bollard pull at its Hardinxveld shipyard.
Ports of Jersey operations and commercial manager Donford Nicholas said this newbuilding was required after the organisation developed a presence in commercial maritime services, “while still undertaking regular maintenance work in local waters”.
It may also be used to support offshore windfarm developments in UK waters and in France.
“With an expanding work scope, we needed a vessel with increased capabilities,” said Mr Nicholas. “We were looking for something that could support a wide range of tasks, including engineering and survey projects,” he explained. “We have a keen focus on sustainability so it is our goal to support the forthcoming offshore wind projects that will take place in UK and European Union (EU) waters nearby.”
This is the first multipurpose tug ordered by a UK organisation from an EU builder since the UK completed its exit from the union of nations.
“We see this vessel as added value, not only for the Ports of Jersey, but for the community as a whole, offering a greater potential of commercial opportunities and, ultimately, wider employment prospects,” said Mr Nicholas.
This will be a 27-m vessel with a draught of about 3 m and power output of about 2,500 kW, providing a top speed of 11 knots. With a beam of 11 m, this Shoalbuster 2711 has 2 m more breadth than Duke of Normandy, providing extra stability, working area, storage and space for a larger crane.
With this extra space, Ports of Jersey selected a larger Helia crane as its crew were already using a similar one on Duke of Normandy, which recently had its 15-year drydocking in 2020 at Damen’s shipyards in Gorinchem, the Netherlands. No sooner had the vessel docked than the coronavirus outbreak occurred. All the crew had to leave the Netherlands and return to Jersey.
“From then onwards we had to manage the project remotely,” said Mr Nicholas. “We had regular digital contact throughout the project and everything was done well and on-time.”
Ports of Jersey put specific processes in place during the coronavirus pandemic. “We have had a track-and-trace system in place since July last year,” said Mr Nicholas, “and we require a negative test result for anyone coming from abroard.”
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