It’s a hive of activity among Urk companies in the north of the Netherlands, with four businesses working together on the installation and finishing of two special vessels at a shipyard in Groningen. The partnership is a fine result for the Urk Maritime collaboration and is giving a healthy boost to the island’s economy.
Mention the Dutch maritime sector and Urk is one of the first places that comes to mind. This was certainly the case for the Groningen-based Nauplius Workboats when the yard hired Piet Brouwer Electrotechnology, quickly followed by three other companies from Urk for a new project. These other lead players are maritime carpentry and interior company De Flux, Marble Automation and De Boer Marine. Piet Brouwer Electrotechnology sales manager Piet Roskam is closely involved in the project and explains how special this situation is: “While we regularly partner together for assignments on Urk, it is unique for these four top companies to be working together at a yard in Groningen.”
The Urk collaboration in Groningen is a direct consequence of the establishment of the Urk Maritime cluster, a unique collaboration in which some 20 maritime companies have joined forces. According to Stefan Meun Visser of Marble Automation the project for Nauplius illustrates the strength of this cluster. “We all share the same mentality and often interact outside of work too. The connection and trust between our companies is therefore very strong and the lines of communication short. This makes things easier both for ourselves and for our clients. Stronger together… That is the power behind Urk Maritime.”
So, what does the project in Groningen entail? “We are working on the installation and final build stages of two new 27-metre hybrid aquaculture service vessels,” says Piet Roskam. “Both will be equipped in an ultra-modern way with hybrid diesel-electric propulsion, a wide range of electronic equipment and a high-quality finish.” The main goal of the project? “Exceeding the expectations of the client.” Meindert Jan de Boer from De Boer Marine concurs. “Our main challenge involves the camera system. As well as a large number of cameras, the client also requires a low-maintenance system. We are currently working on finalising the design.”
Start date approaches
The Groningen yard is now full of workmen from Urk with delivery of the first vessel planned for mid-2022. “De Flux is responsible for the carpentry and interior and our preparations are already fully underway,” says Hennie Molenaar-Kiefte from De Flux. As Hennie explains, it is a meticulous task: “We discuss everything with the client based on 3D drawings to provide a good overview of the interior. Once everything has been talked through, we will start the realisation phase. We have every confidence that this collaboration with Nauplius Workboats and the other parties involved will be a great success!”