Arrival of Paragon C462 marks start of new opportunities for port economy
For the first time in twenty years, the Port of Den Helder welcomed the arrival of an imposing drilling platform at 3 am on Thursday 29 October. The Paragon C462, weighing the equivalent of around six thousand cars, will be undergoing inspection and maintenance work in the Port of Den Helder over the next four to five months, before being redeployed for its next assignment.
“An impressive moment, and an important one for the Port of Den Helder and the entire region,” suggested an enthusiastic port director Piet-Hein Kolff. “This project will have a stimulating effect for the entire offshore industry in the northern part of Noord-Holland. It is a step that demonstrates to the market that our port is also suitable for carrying out so-called lifetime extension and maintenance work on platforms installed on the Continental Shelf, just around the corner from here.”
Three tug boats sailed for almost 30 hour towing the behemoth from location E17 in the North Sea, into the harbour, without a single hitch. The more than one hundred metre-high platform is now moored alongside the Nieuwediepkade. “In close consultation with the Port of Den Helder, the Royal Dutch Navy and owner Paragon Offshore, we made every possible effort to allocate a long-term mooring for this platform,” explained Wim Schouwenaar, CEO of DHSS based in Den Helder.
The arrival of the drilling platform will generate work for numerous local and regional businesses. Not only DHSS, in 2013 voted Business of the Year, but a whole range of other companies from the region will profit from the maintenance work on the drilling platform. P. Smit BV at Kooypunt will for example be carrying out the construction work on the C462, while the high-pressure pipework will be replaced by a specialist from the region. Maintenance of the drilling equipment and the water reservoirs will also be carried out in the port of Den Helder. Finally, the platform accommodation will be fully renovated.
By facilitating the arrival of this drilling platform, the Port of Den Helder has revealed itself as a flexible pit stop port with space for interim platform maintenance work. We are working on a business plan to help us expand our range of services, for example to include the mooring of platforms at the maintenance quays. This plan will be elaborated in consultation with the Royal Dutch Navy,” explained Piet-Hein Kolff. At present, in close collaboration with Den Helder Airport, the Port of Den Helder is working both nationally and internationally to place the capacities and capabilities of Den Helder in the spotlight, with a view to attracting new markets.
Ready for the future
Tom Gravemaker of Paragon Offshore based in Beverwijk is delighted that the Port of Den Helder could offer space to accommodate the platform. “The geographical location of the Port of Den Helder is ideal for us. The short distance in combination with the availability of a flexible port and airport just around the corner means that we can efficiently prepare our Paragon C462 for its next mission. We are delighted to be able to call on the reliable supply chain available in the northern Holland-Noord region.”
Following completion of the maintenance work, the Paragon C462 will be redeployed for drilling activities. A skeleton crew of twenty to twenty-five people will remain on board.