Damen Yichang Shipyard to build LNG carriers
The Damen Yichang Shipyard in China is poised to enter a new era, the company informed.
Commencing operations in 1999, the joint venture between Damen Shipyards Group and Sinotrans CSC has had a successful history of delivering cargo vessels from the Damen portfolio. Now, the yard is rolling out an increased portfolio of vessels to a wider market audience, it said in a statement.
Executive Director at Damen Shipyards Group Hans Voorneveld said the Yichang yard has always excelled in the construction of cargo vessels up to 15,000dwt. Whilst it will continue to build such vessels, from now on, there will be an additional focus on other, high-tech vessel types.
“We’re looking at dredgers, pontoons and barges, LNG/LPG tankers and offshore support vessels, such as platform suppliers,” explains Voorneveld.
Since the decision was taken to increase the range the yard is already building a number of specialised pontoons, whilst plans for dredgers are now being finalised. Additionally, finalisation of plans for LPG tanker construction is expected imminently.
As the yard’s product portfolio expands, so too will its geographical reach. Damen Yichang Shipyard’s cargo vessels have mainly aimed for the Western European marketplace. The wider product range, however, will be going global.
“Already we are building pontoons for specialised projects in the Far East and Latin America, as well as for stock. The dredgers also have an international market,” Voorneveld states.
Current capacity at the yard is sufficient for Damen to simultaneously construct ten pontoons along with two dredgers, LNG/LPG tankers or offshore support vessels.
Damen and Sinotrans are investing in developing the building and design process for complex vessels at the yard; however, pre-existing infrastructure has enabled it to embark smoothly upon this new venture, as Voorneveld indicates. He highlighted the yard’s steel cutting facilities, six available berths for section building and assembly and a sideways launching system.