First delivery of Damen’s new design: the DOC 8500 Cable Layer.

The 22nd of December saw the delivery by Damen of an innovative new DOC 8500 cable laying vessel to international offshore contractor Van Oord. Named Nexus, the 126-metre vessel is intended for the installation of electricity cables for offshore wind farms. Van Oord is currently making preparations for the Gemini offshore wind farm which will be constructed 55 kilometres to the north of Schiermonnikoog, one of the Dutch Wadden Islands, and the cable-laying vessel will be deployed initially at that site.

Despite encountering some challenges during the build process, the DOC 8500 was delivered several days ahead of the specified completion date and the entire design, engineering and build took just 15 months. This was particularly satisfying as additional work was also added to the specification after the contract was signed, with additional cable-laying infrastructure being installed prior to handover.

The success of the project was down to a number of factors. The level of cooperation between Van Oord and Damen was highly intensive from the outset, with very short lines of communications between the decision makers on both sides.

An additional factor was the ability of Damen to draw on the expertise on a number of companies within the Damen Shipyards group. Six Damen companies in Romania, Ukraine and the Netherlands contributed engineering and project management expertise; the vessel itself was constructed at Damen Shipyards Galati. The ability to access and coordinate such a diverse range of resources gives Damen a significant advantage when it comes to complex projects such as the DOC 8500.

Equipment installation

The Nexus is now at Damen Shiprepair Vlissingen, where Van Oord is building and installing the additional cable laying equipment.

The Damen Offshore Carrier (DOC) concept was first introduced by Damen in 2012 as a cost-effective smaller heavy transport, offshore installation and ro-ro platform suitable for multiple markets. With its spacious and flush open deck the design is highly adaptable and its modular construction means that it can switch quickly and economically between roles.

Jaap de Jong, Van Oord’s Staff Director Ship Management Department, commented: “By working closely together, Damen and Van Oord managed to build a fit-for-purpose and economical vessel in a very short period of time. The Nexus is an asset to Van Oord’s fleet and its Offshore Wind Projects business unit.” An animation of the original concept can be seen here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=qN0lDwn8Uk 

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