AUSTRALIA’S FIRST DAMEN DREDGER
The first dredger built by Damen for Australia is capable of working to depths of 15m.
Built at Damen Shipyards Yichang, the 60m long Trailing Suction Hopper Dredger (TSHD) 650 is fitted with two Schottel Rudderpropellers type SRP 330 fixed pitch and has now been delivered to owner, Gippsland Ports.
Geoff Hocking, chair of Gippsland Ports, stated: “Gippsland Ports is extremely proud to take delivery of the Trailing Suction Hopper Dredger, Tommy Norton. This project has been a significant undertaking by Gippsland Ports on behalf of the State of Victoria and we are delighted to have delivered an excellent vessel both on time and within budget.
“To have been able to achieve this outcome is testimony to the builder, Damen Shipyards Group and Gippsland Ports’ project managers, supported by our appointed technical and quality support team. We anticipate Tommy Norton will provide decades of safer and more reliable bar crossing in the same manner as its namesake did in the 1870s prior to the creation of the artificial entrance.”
Tommy Norton has been built with bottom doors to enable self-emptying and can alternate between a bow connection and rainbow expulsion for beach reclamation work.
In order to increase the vessel’s payload capacity when dredging sand with a high specific density, Damen has reduced the freeboard of the vessel and applied a dredge mark.
The vessel is being used to deliver ocean access for the commercial vessels, oil & gas suppliers and commercial fishing fleet that cross the entrance bar to the Gippsland Lakes area.
The maintenance dredging also helps reduce the risk of flooding to local communities.
By Rebecca Jeffrey