The naming and launch of the 12,000 cubic meter trailing suction hopper dredger Gateway took place at the IHC Merwede Offshore & Marine yard in Hardinxveld-Giessendam in the Netherlands.
The ship is being built for Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. and the ceremony was conducted by Mrs M.J.A. Smits-Schiebroek, the spouse of H.N.J. Smits, the CEO of Rotterdam Port Authority N.V.
IHC Merwede and Boskalis signed a contract in November 2007 for the design, engineering and construction of two identical TSHDs. The assignment is unusual in that the ships are being built at the same time at two different IHC Merwede yards.
The keel of the Gateway was laid on 4 February 2009 and completion is planned for the first quarter of 2010. The sister ship is currently under construction at IHC Dredgers in Kinderdijk in the Netherlands, where it will be launched in mid-February 2010.
The 12,000m³ vessels were designed by IHC Merwede Offshore & Marine in close collaboration with Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. During the design phase, the emphasis was primarily on keeping the weight of the vessel relatively low, while maximising hopper capacity.
The 137m LOA Gateway has a single 1,200mm diameter suction pipe with an underwater pump, allowing it to dredge to a depth of 62m. The ship has two hoppers, one in the bow and one in the stern, with the pump room in between. This innovative layout improves trim in shallow waters. The ship also has a high pump capacity which enables it to pump large volumes over a considerable distance. It has accommodation for 24 people and can sail at 15.4 knots. These specifications make the vessel suitable for a range of projects throughout the world, whether they involve large scale land reclamation, beach replenishment or the construction of ports and waterways.