Damen Shipyards Group Opens New Engineering Center in Helsinki
Damen has established a presence in Finland for the first time. The Helsinki office has been set up to take advantage of the depth of engineering expertise that exists in the country following the group’s entry last year into building large vessels for the RoPax, Cruise and Offshore markets via its new Romanian yard, Damen Shipyards Mangalia. The new office will augment and extend Damen’s engineering capability in this market segment.
Finland was selected as the location because, along with Italy, Germany and France, it is one of the leading countries in the world in the design and build of cruise and RoPax vessels; this in combination with particular expertise in ice-class vessels, a growing segment of the cruise market. Helsinki also has excellent connections to Poland and The Netherlands, allowing for optimal collaboration between the Damen engineering entities situated in Gdansk and Rotterdam. Damen Engineering Helsinki Oy will focus on concept and basic engineering with an initial target of around 30 people to be based there by the end of 2020 working in close cooperation with their colleagues within Damen.
The office is also intended as a showcase for Damen in Finland, welcoming both customers and suppliers, as well as seeking collaborating with local, specialized maritime engineering entities. With that in mind, a lot of effort went into finding the right premises. A recently renovated building has been selected in a central location in Helsinki. The area is currently undergoing regeneration from being a former industrial harbor and fish market and offers excellent commuting connections and a pleasant work environment for Damen’s employees.
“We are now focused on building the team,” said Damen’s Frank Rebel, “and we already have two projects to start with: a cruise vessel and a RoRo vessel. Members of Damen’s Helsinki team will have the opportunity to add real value to these and other projects in the future. We look forward to welcoming them into the Damen family.”
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