On 25 April, Van Oord celebrated the christening ceremonies of two new hybrid water injection dredgers, Rijn and Rhône, and an unmanned survey vessel (USV), VO:X Barentsz. The event took place at the Van Oord head office jetty in Rotterdam.

The Rijn and Rhône are sister vessels of the Maas and Mersey, which were successfully commissioned in 2021. All were built by Kooiman Marine Group. The vessel Rijn was christened by Ms Bartje de Boer-Veenstra. She is the wife of Hidde de Boer, staff manager at Van Oord. Ms Liedy Bijsterbosch-Meijer performed the christening ceremony for the Rhône. She is the wife of Herman Bijsterbosch, Captain at Van Oord for fifty years now.

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New generation of hybrid water injection vessels

The Rijn and Rhône are among the most sustainable water injection dredgers to date and will have the Ultra Low Emission Vessel (ULEV) notation of the classification society. The combination of hybrid energy management systems, heat recovery systems and exhaust gas aftertreatment devices reduce the vessels’ energy consumption and emissions of greenhouse gases, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter (CO2e, NOx, PM). Innovative technologies such as active heave compensation and a dynamic positioning system make it possible to automate much of the dredging process.

Water injection dredging removes sediment “the natural way”. It is an efficient and environmentally friendly way of maintaining the depth of navigation channels, ports and rivers. Thanks to their manoeuvrability and very limited draught, these vessels are perfectly suited for maintenance dredging in shallow harbours.

Also read: Van Oord duo dredges Prinses Amaliahaven in Rotterdam

USV VO:X Barentsz

VO:X Barentsz, Van Oord’s fifth unmanned autonomous survey vessel (USV) was christened by Ms Lucienne van Leeuwen-Koper. She is the wife of Michel Koper, director survey at Van Oord. Van Oord’s in-house survey department and DEMCON Unmanned Systems have jointly developed and operated four USVs in the past years.

Van Oord then contracted DEMCON for a fifth USV specialised for operations at sea, the VO:X Barentsz. This new larger vessel is also an evolution of the four other USVs, building upon the same hardware and software USV platform system and expanding this vessel with new technologies and more functionalities for offshore operations.

USVs enable Van Oord to obtain more measuring data at lower costs. In addition, deploying these vessels increases safety by eliminating an onboard operator and surveyor.

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First christening for new CEO

The christening ceremony also marked the farewell of Pieter van Oord, who led Van Oord as CEO for over fifteen years and has been with the company for a total of thirty years. At the same time, the ceremony marked the inaugural official act of new CEO Govert van Oord, the fifth-generation CEO of the family-owned company.

Picture: The water injection dredgers Rhône and Rijn and the USV VO:X Barentsz at the Van Oord jetty for the christening ceremonies (by Van Oord).

Also read: Kooiman delivers first new Water Injection Dredger to Van Oord