Damen has announced a new line of trailing suction hopper dredgers comprising the Marine Aggregate Dredger (MAD) 4000 and 5600 vessels.
Designed in collaboration with Maritime Design and Engineering Services (MD&ES), the MAD 4000 and 5600 will be able to work in North Sea conditions up to depths of 60 metres. These capabilities allow operators to mine sand and gravel in deeper waters, farther from shore than preceding models.
Unlike traditional dredgers, the bow shape of the MAD vessels allows them to operate in adverse weather conditions. The shape is based on that of Damen’s latest offshore carrier and PSV designs. In addition to improved seakeeping behaviour, the bow shape also protects the sand and gravel cargo from green water ingress.
Close attention has been paid to incorporating the most robust equipment for operations in harsh environments. A submerged, wear-resistant dredge pump facilitates the loading of sand and gravel aboard the vessel. Once onboard, the aggregate then passes through the heavy-duty dredgers’ screening towers, where giant sieves allow for a better assessment and classification of the mined material. Following this, it is stored and de-watered in the vessel’s hopper.
Alex Baird is the Managing Director of Baird Maritime