Norwegian fish feed distribution specialist Eidsvaag has contracted Damen to carry out a conversion project, with Damen Shiprepair Amsterdam (DSAm) converting a platform supply vessel into a fish feed carrier that will improve efficiency and sustainability in the Norwegian aquaculture industry.
‘One of the main things that made Damen stand out as a strong candidate in the tender process was their previous experience with the vessel,’ explained Vidar Eidsvaag, general manager and owner at Eidsvaag.
The former PSV, now renamed Eidsvaag Opal, was part of a six-vessel order Damen built for offshore supply company, World Wide Supply, and was delivered in 2013.
The conversion tender was won by Damen Shiprepair Amsterdam (DSAm), which was judged to be the most suitable yard, based on its facilities and its proximity to Niron Staal, Damen’s specialist steel fabricator – and this conversion requires a lot of steelwork.
Eidsvaag Opal arrived at the yard in the final weeks of 2019, where stripping down quickly got underway, removing the main deck after which the vessel was cut in half and the sub-contractor Mammoet moved the aft section of the vessel 10 metres back in order to allow space for the fitting of the new 4.90-metre section.
31 new steel sections are now being inserted into the hull and divided into sponsons and the new big bag hold. In total, 650 tonnes of new steel are being fabricated by Niron Staal and installed on board Eidsvaag Opal while the ship is in drydock at DSAm. 300 tonnes of redundant ship’s structure will also be removed as part of the conversion process.
The project extends to increasing the beam with 1.20 metre side boxes to give additional stability and extra cargo capacity. Damen will install 35 silos as well as cargo holds. When complete, the vessel will be able to transport 2800 tons of feed at a time. There will be 5 new cranes as well as the discharger installed.
‘It really helps speed up the project with Damen already being familiar with the design of the ship,’ Vidar Eidsvaag said.
‘Of course, there were other reasons for their success in the tender process. In addition to knowledge of the actual vessel, Damen was able to demonstrate the successful completion of a relevant conversion for the aquaculture industry.’
Damen’s previous track record in this industry sector includes the conversion of a Damen Combi Coaster into a fish feed transportation vessel. This involved shortening the vessel in order to provide the added manoeuvrability necessary for operating within fish farms. It was then outfitted with 64 silos for the transportation of different types of fish food.
‘We really appreciate the close co-operation that we have with the client,’ said Tjeerd Schulting, managing director at DSAm.
‘We sailed with the client for a trip, which is something that we do not often have the opportunity to do, and it gave us a close understanding of the way the client works. This project really is a joint effort between the client and ourselves.’