• Additional Mining Vessel - Artist impression by Marin Teknikk
  • Fred Hordijk (Project Manager) and Peter Bokslag (Project Manager Engineering)
  • Marijke Koch (Legal Counsel)
  • Maarten op t Hof (Mechanic)
Additional Mining Vessel - Artist impression by Marin Teknikk
Fred Hordijk (Project Manager) and Peter Bokslag (Project Manager Engineering)
Marijke Koch (Legal Counsel)
Maarten op t Hof (Mechanic)

Bakker Sliedrecht is working on a diamond mining vessel with more than 50 colleagues

14 September 2020

A shipyard in Romania is working hard on project AMV3, a ship that will mine diamonds off the coast of Namibia from 2022 onwards. On behalf of shipbuilder Damen Shipyards, Bakker Sliedrecht is responsible for the engineering of the electrical installation and supply of low-voltage distribution systems. All parties involved and the more than fifty Bakker Sliedrecht employees must therefore work together perfectly to exceed the customer's expectations. Every colleague is an important link in the bigger picture. Seven employees of Bakker Sliedrecht explain.

'The question "how?" leads to creative solutions.'

Jeffrey is commercially responsible and, together with the project managers, constantly monitors the overall customer satisfaction: is Damen Shipyards completely satisfied with the course of the project? It comes down to constantly switching between Damen Shipyards and colleagues and ensuring that the solutions enable you to carry out the project in the best possible way for the customer. At the commercial department, we are pragmatic and our task is to identify opportunities to help customers. We quickly think that something can be done. But there are colleagues who apply the brakes for a good reason. In the meantime, customers expect us to come up with alternatives ourselves. "But how?" is a question I regularly ask my colleagues. And that can lead to creative solutions, such as a different way of working or a series of small adjustments that can speed up the process a bit. We discuss these kinds of ideas with the customer. They are here in Sliedrecht several days a week. So short lines, and a lot is negotiable. Very pleasant.
Jeffrey Gadellaa (Commercial Manager)

'We provide daily advice on the best cables and switchboard cabinets.'

Richard is mapping all the cables inside the ship on the computer. This results in a 3D overview. This contains part of the information the mechanics need to perform their job. Thanks to those drawings, mechanics will soon know exactly where to pull which cables. Nobody wants a ghost ship. The ship's crew will soon have to be able to rely blindly on the electrical system working perfectly. And that starts with the design drawings. There was already an initial design. We were asked to take a critical look at it and then advise on the cables to be used, among other things. We know from experience which ones are the most reliable. Since then, we have drawn all the cables and also advise on the type of cables and switch boxes. I am in daily contact with Damen Shipyards. As a result, they know exactly what materials they need to purchase and what information the subcontractors need in order to install everything correctly. And the quicker all parties can switch, the greater the chance of completing this project on time'.
Richard van Mook (Supervisor)

‘There's a lot involved in building such a floating factory.’

Peter is responsible for all electrical engineering on board. Peter: 'The ship we are now working on is a kind of floating factory. In total there will be about 12,000 cables on board. In addition, we are dealing with dozens of different systems and suppliers. Everyone needs the right information to be able to connect them. What are the technical product characteristics? What exactly must be purchased? These are all matters on which we advise Damen Shipyards. In addition, my team and I are responsible for the construction of the submersible motor and a large number of switchgear cabinets. Together, we ensure that I can provide Damen Shipyards with a clear weekly update'. 
Fred directs the project team and monitors the planning, budget and quality. Fred: 'I don't concern myself with technical details. That is the responsibility of Peter, the Project Manager Engineering, with whom I work fairly closely. As project manager, I pay close attention to ensuring that we use everyone's qualities. In doing so, I give employees the space and confidence to come up with their own ideas and implement them. In such a large project as this, good teamwork is even more important than usual. The great thing is that the collaboration with Damen Shipyards is very open and transparent. If you have a question or a problem, we immediately knock on each other's door. We have an eye for each other's interests and are very motivated to make a success of it together. Not a traditional customer-supplier relationship, but co-creation. And I see that as a great opportunity'.
Fred Hordijk (Project Manager) and Peter Bokslag (Project Manager Engineering)

 ‘All agreements are clearly on paper, and that helps’

In the preliminary phase, Marijke is responsible for the legal side of all agreements that Damen Shipyards and Bakker Sliedrecht conclude with about the construction and delivery of the ship. She ensures that everything is properly laid down in clear contracts. Usually I'm only involved at a later stage, as soon as the content of the agreement is discussed. But in this case, I was at the table with Jeffrey at Damen Shipyards right from the start, because we were looking for a way to include different parts of the work in one or more good contracts. As a lawyer, I made sure that all agreements were properly worded and that the risks for us as Bakker Sliedrecht were as limited as possible. I also made sure that the tasks and responsibilities of the project managers were clearly described in order to avoid unnecessary discussions in the project team. Now that all the contracts have been signed, my task is largely done'.
Marijke Koch (Legal Counsel)

‘It's gonna get crowded in the workshop.’

As work planner, Ad ensures that all the necessary materials are ordered and - if possible - arrive on the desired delivery date. He determines that date as much as possible on the basis of the process. So not that everything arrives at the same time, but 'just in time'. With such a large project, this is important, because otherwise colleagues in the workshop don't know where to leave all the stuff and they spend too much time trying to find it all. One of our engineers was already involved when they discussed what is needed to build 150 meters of switchboard cabinets. In the preliminary phase, we were able to tell them that we want to work with material we already have experience with. That is the fastest way to work. Then we can also guarantee the quality. We are now building the frames for the switchboard cabinets. And soon it will be really busy. Then all the mechanics will help to install the electrical systems and wiring in those cabinets. That's going to be even more urgent here in the workshop, because in addition to our 22 permanent colleagues, we also have 18 students from the Bakker Vakschool in our team. These are MBO students, most of whom we train ourselves. So there are 40 of us here in total. In the end, two mechanics go aboard the ship to connect the switchboard cabinets'.
Ad Trapman (Work planner)

‘Cool, working on one of those mega-ships.’

Mechanic Maarten builds switchboard cabinets and installs copper rods and electrical equipment in the workshop. The switchboard cabinets we build will soon play an important role on the ship. When I explain to my friends what I do, I always make the comparison with a meter box at home. The only thing we build is one that is about two meters high and up to five meters wide, which offers a lot more possibilities. They work with a higher voltage: 690 volts. That's three times as much as in the meter box at home. You need special copper rods, because they conduct the current better. My team consists of four people: the team leader, a mechanic who is a permanent employee like me, an apprentice mechanic and myself. This collaboration is going very well. Everyone knows exactly what to do. We are now putting the cabinets together, the copper parts have been prepared, are ready and can be installed immediately. We are still waiting for the transformers and the other electrical equipment. As soon as we have them here, we will assemble the components and wiring with all the teams as quickly as possible. Then we really need to put the turbo on. It's cool that I'm working on one of those mega-ships from our workshop'.
Maarten op ‘t Hof (Mechanic)

Bakker Sliedrecht's to-do list

  • Design the electrical supply of the subsea mining crawler machine, which recovers soil to the surface for diamonds to be extracted, before the soil is returned to the seabed.
  • Engineering, assembly and supply of custom-built integrated console desks.
  • The engineering and production of 150 meters of low-voltage distribution systems in which energy is distributed.
  • Technicians from Bakker Sliedrecht are working on the frames for these cabinets in their Dutch workshop.
  • Acting as an advisory specialist to Damen for all electrical engineering on board. Bakker Sliedrecht indicates which actions are necessary and what needs to be purchased. Customer Damen Shipyards then selects the suppliers.
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