Dutch shipbuilder Damen Shipyards Group has recently completed the unusual conversion of a platform supply vessel into a fish feed carrier at Damen Shiprepair Amsterdam.
The conversion project was carried out for Norwegian company Eidsvaag with its vessel, Eidsvaag Opal. The vessel was originally built by Damen in 2013 as part of a 6-vessel order for World Wide Supply.
Among other things, Damen was required to extend the Eidsvaag Opal by 5 meters, which involved the yard cutting the hull in two and inserting in new steel sections. Damen also widened the beam of the vessel (using a series of side boxes) to give additional stability and cargo capacity.
The yard also integrated 35 new silos and a big bag hold, enabling Eidsvaag Opal to transport up to 2,800 metric of fish feed. The vessel was also outfitted with five new cranes and a discharge system of conveyors, buckets, elevators and a discharge arm.
Damen says the project required considerable electrical work, carried out by FMJ Marine Automation. The supplier removed some 480 cables – approximately 15 kilometers – from the old cargo systems alone. In total, the company pulled 51 km of cable and connected 1,237 cables on the project.
Damen Shiprepair Amsterdam secured the tender to carry out the conversion of Eidsvaag Opal due to, among other things, its close proximity to Damen’s steel fabricator Niron Staal, since the project required considerable steel work totalling 875 metric tons.
The COVID-19 pandemic added additional layer of complexity, forcing the yard at one point to cease work on the project for a week in order to implement safety measures. Despite the challenge, Damen Shiprepair Amsterdam was able to complete the project with minimal danger to health in 346 days.
“Naturally we were very concerned with the well-being of everyone working on the project and had to take the time to implement safety measures,” said DSAm senior project manager Arjan de Vos explains. “This proved to be very effective and not only were we able to continue the work, but we did it in good time. I’m very pleased with the way that we have risen to the challenge presented by the pandemic as a team and been able to continue to safely serve our clients during this time.”
In week 43, the Eidsvaag Opal underwent her first loading in order to test the new system. The test involved the vessel carrying 180 tonnes of feed in the silo and 55 tonnes in big bags. Loading went well, requiring only small adjustments to the loading equipment in the big bag room. The feed was unloaded at a fish farm close to Tromsø, at which point the capacity and quality was approved by the product owner. In week 44, a bigger load was transported for the second test – some 700 tonnes.
The vessel will operate in the Fjordfrende collaboration, which is operated by Eidsvaag for Skretting and Cargill, who are ordinarily competitors in the fish feed market. The partnership is based on a number of horizontal logistics projects receiving funding from the EU Commission, aiming at increasing sustainability and efficiency in the aquaculture industry. By collaborating in one fleet, the Fjordfrende collaboration will reduce greenhouse gas emissions equal to removing 7,500 cars from the roads every year, reducing overall CO2 emissions by some 20% compared to normal operations.
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