Last Thursday the official naming ceremony of the Cutter Suction Dredger (CSD) 500 Yantra took place in Ruse, Bulgaria. The CSD is part of an important modernisation programme of the Danube dredging fleet, and will have the prominent task of keeping the Danube at the required depth. Damen supplied the modular dredger following a successful European tender.
The naming ceremony was performed by the Dutch ambassador to Bulgaria, Ms Bea ten Tusscher. As Godmother of the dredger she stated that the task to be performed by the dredger – keeping the Bulgarian stretch of the Danube navigable – is an important one. Even more so as the ceremony took place in Ruse, the largest inland port of Bulgaria. The Bulgarian Vice Minister of Transport, Ms Nelly Andreeva, also stressed the importance of river transport for local trade.
The CSD was added to the fleet of the Executive Agency for Exploration and Maintenance of the Danube River (EAEMDR). This agency is responsible for maintaining the navigable depth in the Bulgarian stretch of the Danube river. The constant maintenance of the Danube is vital to keep the river navigable even in the dry spells in summer. The locally required depth for the inland transport is -3 metres.
The delivery of the Yantra is part of the modernisation of the local dredging fleet. Damen was successful in winning EAEMDR’s European tender as the CSD500 best fitted the requirements. After signing of the contract in July last year, Damen undertook the challenging job of delivering the fully customised dredger in a short time span. The dredger is given BV classification and works under Bulgarian flag. Moreover, it is fitted out with anchor booms, a spud carriage system, a deck crane, an accommodation unit and various extras such as a navigation package.
Mr Pavlin Tsonev, the Executive Director of EAEMDR, is satisfied with the swift delivery of this fully customised dredger “We are extremely pleased with the acquisition of this new, modern and efficient facility.“
The timely delivery of the dredge includes local assistance by a Damen Field Service Engineer. The re-assembly of the dredger was done together with the dredger's crew. Upon completing, all systems of the dredger have been tested to familiarise the crew with all elements. The Yantra is now ready to start her first dredging job.