The Belgian and Dutch navies have launched a public tender for the construction of twelve new mine counter measures vessels. As a partner of the Belgian-Dutch temporary joint venture Damen – Imtech, ENGIE Fabricom is competing for the contract to design and deliver all the electromechanical installations.

Making the seas safer together

ENGIE Fabricom has already acquired a lot of experience when it comes to shipbuilding and executing electromechanical projects for the Belgian Ministry of Defence. In its previous guise as ENI, ENGIE Fabricom was the main supplier of the onboard electrical installations for the Belgian Navy’s frigates and tripartite minehunters in the 1970s. Between 2002 and 2005, ENGIE Fabricom carried out the modifications required to consolidate the Belgian Navy’s three frigates. Our teams also worked alongside the Belgian Ministry of Defence on installing and maintaining various monitoring systems, the central shore guard, and renovating a horizontal ship lift for mine counter measures vessels. In addition, ENGIE Fabricom has been involved in the roll-out and maintenance of numerous civil marine systems for Flemish and Belgian government bodies for many years.

ENGIE Fabricom aims to use the new contract to advance its technological, sustainable and innovative partnership with the Belgian and Dutch navies. We would also like to work on the roll-out of additional infrastructure to support the Naval Base of Zeebrugge from our current location in Ostend.

Creation of a maritime knowledge hub in Belgium

The temporary joint venture led by Damen and Imtech requested various Belgian companies, including ENGIE Fabricom, to join forces for this project. Besides the requirements associated with the public tender, all the partners are also looking at the possible medium-term and long-term developments, so the interest goes beyond designing, constructing and commissioning the twelve new ship platforms. The aim is to carry out studies with the navies (who have cooperating in BeNeSam since 1948), educational institutions and knowledge centres on ways of strengthening the Belgian Ministry of Defence Technological and Industrial Base (DTIB). The creation of a Belgian ‘Mine Counter Measure Valley’ knowledge hub (the MCM Valley concept) will help fulfil our objective of remaining at the international forefront of mine control.

Mine counter measures vessels

Mine counter measures vessels locate and disarm explosives under water. They also patrol territorial waters, and provide support to the Belgian Coast Guard, police force and customs authorities. Mine counter measures vessels are also deployed in maritime emergencies and environmental disasters, and help locate shipwrecks and lost ship cargo. Mine counter measures vessels keep our busy sea lanes and harbours safe, a vital condition for the Belgian and Netherlands’ maritime economies to prosper. These vessels are equipped with a range of high-technology underwater sensors, such as sonars, and remote-control drones which can locate and neutralise dangerous objects, whether below, on, or above the water’s surface.

For more about the project, see: http://nlnavy.damen.com/#mine-countermeasures-vessels