The new floating dock at Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque in northern France was officially inaugurated on Friday, March 10, 2017.
Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque is situated in Dunkirk harbor, behind the locks that ensure a constant water level regardless of tide. With three graving docks, 750m of repair quays and a modern workshop of 22,000m² equipped with overhead travelling cranes of different lifting capacities, the yard can offer shipowners a multitude of specific services. Its largest dry dock is as wide as the largest lock in the port of Dunkirk, allowing the yard to accommodate ships up to 180,000dwt. The yard also has a floating dock that can berth the largest ferries in operation.
In 2016, Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque was assigned the task of renovating the floor of its floating dock, Dock III, after being awarded the public works contract from Grand Port Maritime de Dunkerque. Following four months of studies and preparation by a dedicated team of 10 technicians, 170 people worked night and day to cut out and remove the old floor, prefabricate and install the new structure, and finally apply an anti-corrosion treatment to guarantee optimum protection of the new construction. A total of 700 metric tons of steel was replaced, 12 metric tons of paint applied and 16km of welds completed. The total renewal of the dock floor took only three months.
As well as enabling access to Dock III, the new access pontoon Dynamo is equipped with all the pumps required for the operation of Dock III and supplies the water and electricity necessary for its running, and has a vast storage area. This new dock floor, combined with Dynamo, which cost €2m (US$2.15m), means that Dock III will be operational for the next 25 years.
When Damen took over the operation in 2012, Grand Port Maritime de Dunkerque (GPMD) undertook renovation works on the dock and repair basins for an initial estimated total cost of €7.4m (US$7.96m). This amount was revised to €9m (US$9.68m), which included €7.8m (US$8.39m) for the dock alone. Most of the project was concerned with sheet metalwork totaling €5.46m (US$5.87m) and paintwork costing €1.82m (US$1.96m). Over the entire work program, the Hauts-de-France region will contribute €4.6m (US$4.95m), with the remainder being funded by GPMD, the owner of the installations.
France remains a major player in European ship repair with Brest, Dunkirk, Saint-Nazaire and Marseille being the largest four French yards. - March 2017