TOMMY Norton has officially joined Gippsland Ports in a recent ceremony marking the delivery of the trailing suction hopper dredger.
The 60m Tommy Norton is the first dredger to be built by Dutch shipbuilder Damen for Australia; it was built at Damen Shipyards Yichang.
Gippsland Ports chair Geoff Hocking said Gippsland Ports was proud to take delivery of the dredger.
“This project has been a significant undertaking by Gippsland Ports on behalf of the State of Victoria and we are delighted to have delivered an excellent vessel both on time and within budget,” he said.
“To have been able to achieve this outcome is testimony to the builder, Damen Shipyards Group and Gippsland Ports’ project managers, supported by our appointed technical and quality support team.”
Mr Hocking said he anticipated Tommy Norton would provide decades of safer and more reliable bar crossing in the same manner as its namesake did in the 1870s.
The dredger has now started work to deliver safe and reliable ocean access for the commercial vessels, oil & gas suppliers and commercial fishing fleet that cross the entrance bar to the Gippsland Lakes area.
The vessel is capable of dredging to depths of 15 metres and has been built with bottom doors to enable self-emptying. It can also alternate between a bow connection and a rainbow expulsion for beach reclamation work.