Van Oord's largest self-propelled cutter suction dredger Athena was named and launched at the IHC Merwede shipyard in Kinderdijk on 12 February last. The Athena is the largest ever cutter suction dredger built in the Netherlands for a Dutch dredging company. What is more, the Athena is one of the largest cutter suction dredgers in the world. The vessel will be operational in October 2011.
The vessel is Van Oord's first self-propelled cutter suction dredger. The ceremony was performed by Mrs A.M. van Oord-Groen, the wife of Mr J.G. van Oord Sr. (formerly both chairman and supervisory director of Van Oord). The contract for the design, construction and delivery of the vessel was signed on 4 September 2008, after which the keel was laid on 19 February 2010. The vessel is equipped with the latest dredging technology, which makes it suitable for working on hard ground and rock down to a depth of more than 32 metres. The designers paid particular attention to ergonomics and living conditions on board. For example, the entire accommodation section is suspended in order to counteract vibrations. Once it is operational, the Athena will be provided with a Green Passport and a Clean Ship Notation, both from Bureau Veritas. The Athena is the first dredger in the world to be awarded a Clean Ship Notation.
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