Dutch shipbuilding group Damen has officially taken over the management of the former Curaçao Droogdok Maatschappij, a shiprepair yard strategically located in the Dutch Caribbean, close to the Panama Canal and just out of reach of powerful hurricanes.
The takeover of the shiprepair yard follows an agreement made between the Government of Curaçao and Damen Shipyards Group in September 2016. As of February 1, 2017, management of the facility was handed over to Damen Shiprepair & Conversion (DSC). The location will continue its activities under the name of Damen Shiprepair Curaçao (DSCu).
“With this step Damen expands its ship repair activities across the Trans-Atlantic Ocean,” Damen said in a press release. “The yard is strategically located on the route to the Panama Canal, outside the Hurricane Belt and offers excellent working conditions within a natural bay. As Curaçao is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, smooth logistic connections and fast import of required materials are guaranteed.”
Curaçao, located in southern Caribbean Sea just 40 miles from Venezuela, is home to the Port of Willemstad, one of the busiest oil handling ports in the Caribbean.
The yard features two graven docks; one sized 280 x 48 meters and the other 193 x 26 meters and almost 2 kilometers of quay side. Over the next few years Damen says it will invest approximately $40 million in a third floating dock and the yard’s infrastructure and equipment. A new management team, led by Jaap de Lange as Managing Director, has been appointed and is already on site to introduce and implement Damen working methods and standards.
Damen, together with the Curaçao Government, will also be investing in training and schooling of local technical personnel to promote further development of local industry.
Durk-Jan Nederlof, Group Director Damen Shiprepair & Conversion said: “The cooperation between Damen, the Curaçao Government, local trade unions and the personnel of the yard has been very pleasant during the period of negotiations and transfer of ownership. We are very much looking forward to continuing this collaboration in the future. It is excellent to see the enthusiasm of all parties to make this yard such a success”.
Damen Shiprepair Curaçao is part of the Damen Shiprepair & Conversion group, which currently operates 42 dry docks in 16 shipyards worldwide. Damen Shipyards Group operates 33 shipbuilding and repair yards, employing 9,000 people worldwide.