Damen companies partner on solutions for cleaner shipping

(GORINCHEM, Netherlands) — Bringing together the experience and knowledge of two Damen companies is the close cooperation between Damen Green Solutions and Damen Shiprepair & Conversion (DSC). The two companies combine their specific skill sets to offer shipowners a smoother transition toward compliance with new environmental regulations and cleaner sailing.

Regarding the subjects of ballast water management, exhaust aftertreatment systems, LNG conversions and other more traditional methods of cleaner shipping, the synergy between Damen Green Solutions and DSC provides shipowners and operators the benefits of proven project management skills, reduced downtime and informed product selection.

Smoothing the way for compliance

Since the IMO ratification of the Ballast Water Management Convention last year, shipowners have been left with no choice but to tackle their ballast water treatment issues head on. However, with close to 70 different manufacturers offering systems, selecting the best option for a vessel can be a daunting task.

Damen Green Solutions’ approach to this has been to help shipowners make the right decision. “We have investigated the market thoroughly — looking into the pros and cons of all the available systems,” said Marcel Karsijns, managing director of Damen Green Solutions. “This includes the technology, the energy consumption, the physical footprint of the system and the after sales service. With this information, we have made sales agreements with the best ballast water treatment systems producers.”

The added value of combining the knowledge and experience of Damen Green Solutions and DSC is seen in the fact that an entire system retrofit can be handled in one contract. “This is the one-stop-shop that we talk about,” said Karsijns. “Damen Green Solutions deals with the work preparation and planning and then DSC performs the project management and execution in a very efficient way — with minimal downtime. This is what they specialize in.”

Cleaner emissions

Also included into the concept of green solutions are exhaust aftertreatment systems, known as scrubbers. “For a shipowner, a scrubber represents an investment that he will see a return on,” said Kees Jan Groen, commercial director at Damen Shiprepair & Conversion. “The difference in price between HFO and MDO will determine how fast he sees a return on that investment.”

“We have built up valuable experience performing scrubber retrofits. Of course, every ship is different, but we can transfer the knowledge gained from previous projects to new projects that we are planning.”

DSC has developed a modular approach to scrubber installation where some components are installed in the funnel and others on the deck to reduce the amount of work in the engine room. “Our competitive strength comes in being able to complete complex projects in tight schedules to the highest quality,” said Groen.

Once again, close cooperation between Damen and a specialist manufacturer has been important. “We found a partner in AEC, part of the VDL group,” said Karsijns. “They have an IMO-certified scrubber system which is very cost-effective.”

Conversion experience

Another subject in the sustainability conversation concerns liquefied natural gas (LNG). This is often described as the "transition" fuel toward cleaner shipping because, even though LNG emissions still contain significant levels of CO2, they are much cleaner in terms of nitrogen oxide, sulfur oxide and particulate materials. For ship owners examining the possibility of an LNG engine conversion, it is DSC’s existing experience with conversion projects in EPC contracts that is often the initial stimulus to make contact.

“The LNG industry is taking its first steps. Even though it is still at a small scale, we are seeing more and more enquiries,” said Groen. “With engine conversion contracts, we have all the procedures in place to complete the project on time and on budget. This includes all the engineering and installation work while integrating the specifications with contractors and suppliers.”

Don’t forget low-tech

Groen is also keen to point out that certain "green solutions" do not necessarily have to involve extensive engineering and preparatory work. “A shipowner can utilize low-tech solutions too,” he said. “For example, getting a vessel into dry dock to clean the propeller, and then clean and repaint the hull with antifouling can yield instant results in terms of fuel consumption. What’s more, we offer this type of service based on a fixed number of days and a fixed price.”

For more information, visit www.damen.com.

By Professional Mariner Staff