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DAMEN SHIPREPAIR REBUILDS OCEAN RESEARCH VESSEL

DAMEN SHIPREPAIR REBUILDS OCEAN RESEARCH VESSEL

Monday, October 26, 2020 

Damen Shipyards Group has recently completed the extensive rebuild of OceanX's research ship 'OceanXplorer' at Damen Shiprepair Rotterdam.

The vessel contributes to OceanX’s ocean exploration mission. The initiative aims to build a global community engaged with understanding, enjoying and protecting the oceans.

Upon completion of the project, OceanXplorer is said to be the most advanced exploration, research and media vessel in the world. As OceanX’s new flagship, she builds on the legacy of the organisation’s first vessel, Alucia. Equipped with a series of submersibles, sonar arrays, manned submarines, an ROV and AUV, OceanXplorer is able to explore and map the depths of the oceans. The vessel is able to collect live samples for analysis in onboard laboratories, including DNA sequencing.

OceanXplorer is equipped with high-quality filming and media studios enabling findings to be live-streamed worldwide.

Damen served as main contractor in this complex and challenging project, fulfilling an extensive scope of work that brought together various disciplines from across Damen Shipyards Group – including offshore and survey newbuild, repair, conversion and yachting specialisms.

The project required Damen to rebuild the vessel – a former offshore survey ship – in essence from the main deck upwards by stripping the existing accommodation and adding a complete new and much larger accommodation to house the new laboratories, workshops and submarine hangar. Also  a fully integrated heli hangar was added to the superstructure as well as extensions on both sides of the accommodation decks to house new cabins over the (increased) full beam of the vessel. Following the structural work, tasks included overseeing the complete integration of all ship’s systems including specialist hydrographic and laboratory systems and an IT infrastructure to facilitate the combination of research facilities with on board cinematography and media studios.

Damen worked closely with OceanX’s specialist teams, developing the scope of the project  in order to fulfil all requirements. This included responsibility for the interior and exterior of the vessel. The combines up-to-the-minute research facilities – courtesy of renowned naval architects Skipsteknisk – and top-of-the-line interior accommodations, designed by Christina Fallah. The vessel’s additional interiors as well as its exterior were styled by Steve Gresham.

The project required Damen to undertake a docking scope, including removal and refurbishment of azipull and bow thrusters, blasting and coating of tanks and complete overhaul and upgrading of crew accommodation.

Tjarco Ekkelkamp, project director, OceanXplorer project, said: “This has been a challenging project, the result of which we are very proud of. On the one hand, this shows the extensive capabilities of Damen as a group – the powerful synergies within our group, covering both newbuild and repair & conversion capabilities and spanning commercial vessels and superyachts. On the other, this is a vessel that represents a force for good in the world – one that will enhance human involvement, understanding and ultimately conservation of our oceans. With our strong commitment to maritime sustainability, we are delighted to have played our part in the development of OceanXplorer.”

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