Netherlands-based Damen Shipyards Group has opened a new shipyard in Vietnam, which represents its first formal joint venture yard in the country.

Damen Song Cam yard is designed to meet European health, safety and environmental standards and will initially produce around 40 ships a year.

The 43ha yard has direct access to open sea, a 120m long and 85m wide outfitting hall equipped with three overhead cranes of 25t each, an air-conditioned and controlled environment paint shop, and other carpentry workshops.

The site also features a Rolls-Royce Syncrolift shiplift with a 60m long and 24m wide platform.

Damen Holding Vietnam managing director Pim Schuurman said special work platforms are fitted at 5m and 8m, so employees are able to work very close to the main deck of the vessels, making for more efficient logistics.

"Around 800 people are expected to work at the yard, which would then build around 80 vessels a year."

"Components can be stored on the platforms so outfitters don’t need to climb up and down; it is as if you are building the vessel on the ground floor. Everything is to hand so it is less tiring for people," Schuurman said.

Around 300 people can currently work at Damen Song Cam. Upon completion of phase two, around 800 people are expected to work at the yard, which would then build around 80 vessels a year.

Damen Song Cam managing director Chris Groninger said Damen started building in Vietnam for the first time at Song Cam yard, which was such a successful cooperation that both Damen and Song Cam decided to go further and build Damen Song Cam.

Damen Song Cam yard is adjacent to a 43ha site that will be developed into a maritime industrial zone.

Image: Guests at the official Vietnamese ribbon-cutting ceremony of Damen Song Cam shipyard. Photo: courtesy of Damen Shipyards Group.