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Monday, February 1, 2021 

Damen Shipyards Group has signed a contract for the second vessel to its Shoalbuster 2711 design, the new vessel will be operated by the Ports of Jersey, which has operated a Damen Shoalbuster 2709, named 'Duke of Normandy', for the past 15 years.

Donford Nicholas, Jersey's operations and commercial manager, said: “Since our incorporation, Ports of Jersey Marine Services department has developed a presence in the commercial maritime world, while still undertaking regular maintenance work in local waters. With an expanding work scope we needed a vessel with increased capability. We were looking for something that could support a wide range of tasks, including engineering and survey projects. We have a keen focus on sustainability so it is our goal to support the forthcoming offshore wind projects that will take place in UK and EU waters nearby. We see this vessel as added value, not only for the Ports of Jersey, but for the community as a whole, offering a greater potential of commercial opportunities and, ultimately, wider employment prospects.”

The Shoalbuster 2711 is an evolved version of the 2709. An additional 2m of beam provide extra stability, work space, storage and space for a larger crane. It is MCA compliant, offers 40t bollard pull and boasts high-standard crew facilities. As with all standard Damen vessels, customers can select their own options.

“We’ve opted to have the vessel fitted with the latest Heila crane,” said Nicholas. “We’ve got a good relationship with Heila. They provided the crane to the Duke of Normandy and everyone is familiar – and happy – with it. We’ve been very happy with the performance of the Duke of Normandy. She’s proven her quality over 15 years. The price for the new vessel was also competitive. Besides this, we enjoy a good relationship with Damen.”

Last year, Damen Shipyards Gorinchem won the tender to conduct the Duke of Normandy’s 15-year drydock and renewal survey. No sooner had the vessel docked than the coronavirus outbreak occurred. All the crew had to leave the Netherlands and return to Jersey, managing the project remotely.

Damen sales manager Frederik van der Linde said: “I’m very happy with this order. It’s a testimony to the quality of the Ports of Jersey’s first Damen Shoalbuster, the Duke of Normandy, that we delivered 15 years ago and to the excellent relationship our two organisations enjoy. I am looking forward to continuing to develop this relationship into the future.”

The Shoalbuster will be outfitted in the Netherlands by Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld and will be delivered to Ports of Jersey in Q4 this year.

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