Damen Shipyards Group completes construction contract comprising two ECSD 650 dredgers for Canadian oil sands industry (photo)
Damen Shipyards Group has completed an key construction contract comprising two electric-powered Cutter Suction Dredgers (CSD) for the Canadian oil sands industry. With both vessels built in Canada, the contract marks the close cooperation between Damen and Aecon, Canada’s largest publicly traded infrastructure development and construction company, the company said in its press release.
Two newly-built Damen CSDs have commenced operations in Northern Alberta, Canada. The two 40.64-metre long vessels perform dredging duties in oil sands tailings ponds. These tailings are a by-product of oil sands mining (oil sands being a surface substrate that is saturated with bitumen – a heavy and sticky form of crude oil). The effective management of these tailing ponds is therefore of vital importance.
The considerable size of the project required two of Damen’s largest cutter suction dredgers: the Damen ECSD650. This vessel is capable of production levels of 7,200 m3 per hour at 6.5 bar. This electrically-powered design receives its power supply from a 13.8 kV ship-to-shore cable.
Fabrication of both vessels took place in Canada, involving close cooperation between Damen and Aecon. With their broad scope of business interests including a shipyard in Pictou, Nova Scotia, Aecon had all the necessary shipbuilding skills to handle construction. Their scope included construction of all the structural steel components and piping for the dredgers.
Damen’s involvement concerned the overall vessel design and provision of all the major components including motors, steel package and electric and hydraulic installations. Damen Dredging Equipment provided the dredging engineering and design in addition to parts such as pumps, winches and cutter heads.
The Damen team also provided technical assistance during the building, outfitting and commissioning phases as well as on-site training of operations team.
Due to the location of the Aecon yard, approximately 5,000 km away from the oil production site, efficient transportation of the two vessels was vital. Damen’s solution was modular construction – facilitating transportation by truck as well as safe and fast assembly on arrival. The modularity of the design will also make any future relocations a more straightforward procedure.
The vessels – called Igor Mazursky and Fitzgerald – can dredge to a maximum depth of 10 metres. Their primary duty is to pump water back to the process plant and to maintain the capacity of the tailings ponds within their design specifications. Dredge production is flexible as the dredgers can be either controlled from the vessel itself or via remote control from the shore.
The dredging muscle comes from Damen’s BP6560MD dredge pump that features a variable-frequency drive with a 2200 kW electric motor. The hydraulic installation is powered by a 600 kW electric motor which feeds the 250 kW cutter head and the winches.
Gorinchem, Netherlands based Damen Shipyards Group (established in 1927) is a globally operating company with 35 owned shipyards and numerous partner yards. Damen employs over 6,000 people, has built over 5,000 vessels in more than 100 countries and delivers approximately 180 vessels annually to customers worldwide. Damen specializes in building tugs, workboats, patrol vessels, high speed craft, cargo vessels, dredgers, offshore support vessels, oil-spill response vessels, frigates and mega yachts. Besides, Damen offers efficient customer support, customer financing and complete lifecycle service.