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The new vessel, a Shoalbuster 2711, is based upon the reliable and proven design of The Duke of Normandy but with increased capacity and capability. It will boast an additional two meters of beam providing extra stability and increased deck space allowing for installation of a larger crane. The new vessel is not a replacement for The Duke, which will continue its operational obligations in local waters and still be used commercially off-island when required.
Marine Operations Manager for Ports of Jersey, Donford Nicholas, explains:
“In recent years, our Marine Services team has become more commercially focused and our existing tug, has carried out a number of successful short and long-term work projects off-island in the UK and Northern Europe, including towing operations and assisting various marine engineering works. By investing in a new enhanced vessel, which is being built to our own specifications and needs, it allows us to explore this viable market beyond our current capacity. Having developed relationships with marine partners and similar operators with the work we have carried out so far, we now have the opportunity to expand our services in the workboat sector in Northern Europe and the Mediterranean, in particular providing support for the renewable energy sector.”
Following a comprehensive tender process, the new vessel is currently being built and fitted out by Damen Shipyards Group, a Netherlands based company founded over ninety years ago, which operates 36 shipyards across 18 countries. Damen also recently carried out a major dry-dock program of the Duke of Normandy.
In recent years, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Duke of Normandy has spent an average of 181 days off Island, undertaking a range of short and long-term contracts and to date, generating circa £2.5m in revenue. The new vessel is due to be delivered by December 2021, but its services and capabilities are already being marketed by Ports of Jersey Marine Services and Landfall Marine Contractors, a Netherlands based company that specialises in the workboat sector.
Jersey’s Harbour Master, Captain Bill Sadler, concludes,
“This is a positive investment on the part of Ports of Jersey as it will add value not only to our business but also for the wider community. As well as opening up a greater revenue potential for us in terms of commercial opportunities within an expanding marketplace it will also allow us to reinvest in our infrastructure and ultimately offer wider-employment opportunities as we look to the future”.
Ports of Jersey has allocated up to £5.4M from its own commercial revenues into the construction and marketing of the new vessel, which has yet to be named.
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