Cristobal Colon and Leiv Eiriksson are identical "mega" trailer hopper dredgers, built in Sestao, Spain, for Jan de Nul Group of Companies.
Both dredgers are the eyecatching parts in a galloping newbuilding program of 27 capital dredgers, catapulting JDN to nr. 1 place in the global dredging market, in terms of capacity.
On this page, I plan to follow the lifecycle of "nr. 2", Leiv Eiriksson.
Ships like these break open all existing patterns of organisation, standards and knowhow. They will be a challenge to everyone involved in their operation and maintenance.
|Hopper Capacity||46,000 m³||Pump Power (trailing)||2 x 6,500 kW|
|Deadweight||78,000 ton||Pump Power (discharging)||16,000 kW|
|Length Overall||223.0 m||Propulsion Power||2 x 19,200 kW|
|Breadth||41.0 m||Total Installed Diesel Power||41,500 kW|
|Draught Loaded||15.15 m||Speed||18.0 kn|
|Maximum Dredging Depth||155.0 m||Accommodation||46|
|Suction Pipes Diameter|
Artist impression of TSHD "Leiv Eiriksson", courtesy http://bowsprite.wordpress.com/
On August, 27th 2008, in Construcciones Navales del Norte, Sestao (near Bilbao), Spain, the keel of TSHD "Leiv Eiriksson" was layed, after launching identical twin sister "Cristobal Colon".
Launching of "Leiv Eiriksson" is planned in July 2009, and delivery spring 2010.
Sistership Cristobal Colon, meanwhile being outfitted:
Leiv Eirksson, first sections.
Fallpipe vessel "Simon Stevin" can be seen on the right.
View with Google Earth, first section of LE bottom right, Simon Stevin top.
3 sections welded together.
Sections welded together, while more sections are prepared in the hall at the top of the pictures.
Meanwhile; "Cristobal Colon" is underway: http://desdegetxo.blogspot.com/2009_02_28_archive.html and fallpipe vessel "Simon Stevin" is launched: http://www.worldmaritimenews.com/article/Dredging/12713 and towed to the outfitting jetty.
Prior to launch: the shipyard mounted the complete suction pipes, in one dash; including both 300 tons underwaterpump units.
Last preps before launching the giant. The wharfies under the the propeller give an idea of the size of the beast.
Sept, 4th 2009 17h00: launch of ¨Leiv Eiriksson"
The newbuild team on the day of the launch and the seeds for the future crew.
Yes, it was a rainy day.
The ship is equipped with some of the largest dredging equipment ever made.
Extension for lower dredgepipe. Both sections have to be bolted together; to form an extension for one suction pipe.
Draghead loaded in a ship, destined for the yard.
A moment to myself in the office of the shipyard.....
"Simon Stevin" leaves the shipyard; with a good broadside view on "Leiv Eiriksson".
Winter in Spain; snow, hail, cold rain. But the work on worlds´largest dredger continues day after day.
The powerpack of the system: view from top deck into the main pumproom.
Outfitting Leiv Eiriksson late winter 2010. Starting up subsystems, checking components, painting, fuelling up, rigging, fastening, teambuilding, here in spring this ship will sail that river, to hit the waves, to boldly dredge, ... If the wind comes from seaward, you can already smell the sand.
Meanwhile, of all the dredgers in the world, of all the ports in the world, good old "Gerardus Mercator" arrived in Bilbao, can see my old ship at workd daily.
Spring 2010: the big beast is out, sailing under the world famous bridge at Portugalete...
Delivery drydock in Cadiz, Spain. Seatrials just finished, dredgetrials pending... More on the trials here.
The final moment of the dredgetrials: "Leiv Eiriksson does Bilbao", rainbowing a full load of sand in the port, and doing just so, without a single hitch. The thing can dredge.
Leiv Eiriksson was delivered to Jan De Nul in may 2010.
But an economic crisis had ravaged the world economy, and no ready job was at hand to test the ship to its limits.
So, Leiv Eiriksson remained another two months in Bilbao, with a full compliment of crew, sorting out spare parts, seafastening, setting up systems, writing manuals, training for emergencies, sailing the lifeboats, getting to know the ship better, tidying up....
So much more than I ever imagined at first....
It was a blessing; extra time, and in two months we took a firm hold on things, something that would have been inpossible if the ship went straight into operation....
Finally, the ship got underway, through Suez, past the Somali pirates, to its first job, in Singapore. Loaded draughts are a big issue, as was expected with a dredger with a max. draught of 15+ meter.
Leiv Eiriksson crosses Changi airport approach route, an A380 Airbus overhead.
And after Malaysia, the shiphurried to Oman, back over the Arabian Sea, a bulkcarrier got hijacked just where Leiv Eiriksson sailed half a day before...
"Leiv" will join the JDN fleet, building the new port of Duqm, from scratch, in the middle of the Omani desert.
46000 m3 "Leiv Eiriksson" starting up work in Duqm, Oman, a photo taken from 2000m3 TSHD "Galilei 2000". Slick comment from the colleagues on "Galilei" after day one: "We are still ahead in total production here !"Now, that's the spirit !