Damen Shipyards Group has introduced a Marine Aggregate Dredger (MAD) 3500 on 11 September at Galati yard in Romania.

The MAD is being built by Damen for UK-based Hanson.

Hanson plans to use the vessel to carry out offshore aggregate extraction at depths of approximately 55m in the North Sea and the English Channel.

Despite the impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) during the critical production stage, MAD was launched.

To ensure the continuity of global business operations, Damen has implemented many steps in its factories and offices.

Damen sales manager Joppe Neijens said: “Throughout the pandemic, our number one priority has been the safety and wellbeing of our personnel, our co-workers and the communities in which we work.

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“However, by combining a robust approach to safety measures with coordinated teamwork, we have been able to continue production.

“The measures we have taken include strict hygiene and disinfection routines, and the establishment of shift teams to ensure maximum distance between people working, whilst at the same time keeping to schedule.

“The project team and yard have done a great job. Together, they have taken the necessary measures to keep on track with minimal loss of time. In this way, we are able to maintain our support to our clients.”

The Damen MAD range of products use marine engineering technology to ensure safe and comfortable operations, even in unfavourable conditions.

With the positioning of the dredges above the main deck, safety was further increased.

The MAD 3500 was designed to achieve a balance between payload and efficiency within the limited dimensions needed for ships to pass through the Shoreham Lock.

Once launched, Damen will complete and commission the vessel, which will be named Hanson Thames.

In July, Belgium’s Port of Antwerp awarded a contract to Damen Shipyards Group for the delivery of two RSD Tugs 2513.