On 16 November 2012, Arnout Damen, COO of Damen Shipyards Group, officially opened a new office in Norwegian Stavanger. When asked why Dutch headquartered Damen Shipyards sets up an advanced base in Stavanger, its new Sales Manager Remko Hottentot said: “It is the European Oil & Gas capital and the place the ONS Exhibition and conferences are held. Stavanger is, so to speak, a mini-Houston”.
Hottentot has an international nautical background and experience in the Offshore and LNG industries. He married to a Norwegian lady over 22 years ago, speaks the language fluently and it is therefore no surprise that he feels quite at home in Norway.
The opening gave Hottentot a chance to show what Damen is about and in particular that Damen is becoming more and more active in the Offshore industry. Damen booked newbuilding orders for a series of four Platform Supply Vessels to be built at Damen Shipyard Galati (Romania) and another two to be built at Damen Shipyards Bergum (The Netherlands). Three Damen Ocean-going Patrol Vessels of the Holland Class were docked at Vågen, close to the office in the centre of Stavanger. One of the vessels, HNLMS Zeeland, was visited by the invitees at the opening.
The three vessels OPV Zeeland, Holland and Groningen are part of the new Holland Class Ocean-going Patrol Vessels. The class is designed for patrolling and intervention, notably against light armed opposition, such as pirates. The vessel is also suited for assistance in international emergencies. Hottentot adds: “We are still a modest player in the offshore industry, but experienced in designing and building PSV’s, Seismic Research Support Vessels, Fast Crew Suppliers and Offshore Wind catamarans. Customers can buy virtually off the shelf. One Norwegian customer found that out when he told me he was looking for a 10 m long tugboat. On second thought, he said, a 12 m long vessel would be more suitable. I could immediately show him both and arrange delivery within two months, if so desired.”
“The fast response and the fact that Damen is a family-owned business appears to be appealing to Norwegian business partners. Generally speaking, Norwegian companies themselves are family-owned. People know that this can mean an easy accessible management and being customer driven. That is exactly what the Damen Group is and for the Norwegian market to become familiar with”, says Remko Hottentot.
Damen offers a wide range of ships, such as: tugs, workboats, patrol vessels, high speed crafts, dredgers, cargo vessels, PSV’s, oil-spill response vessels, patrol vessels, frigates and even mega yachts. Product design and engineering are carried out in-house and a broad range of standard designs is available. Damen’s product development policy is driven by an extensive R&D programme, customer feedback and (field) experience.
Press Release, November 23, 2012