Albanian CG Receives Second Damen Stan Patrol Vessel ‘Oriku’
Recently the second of a series of four Damen Stan Patrol Vessels 4207, going by the name of ‘Oriku’, has been finalized in the Pashaliman Shipyard in Vlorë (Albania) and delivered to the Albanian Coast Guard. The third Stan Patrol Vessel (SPa), called ‘Lisus’, is presently under construction. The Spa’s were ordered by the Albanian Ministry of Defence. Their main purpose is to execute patrol duties and Search and Rescue missions in the territorial waters. The project included extensive knowledge transfer and the reconstruction of a naval shipyard.
The first ship of the Stan Patrol 4207 project was built in the Netherlands and delivered to the Albanian Coast Guard in August 2008. Frank de Lange, sales director South, North and West-Europe at Damen Shipyards, recalls: “When the first Stan Patrol, the ‘Illyria’, arrived in the Durres harbour it received a great ceremonial welcome. People were deeply touched, some of them having tears in their eyes.”
Vlorë naval base reconstructed
The project also included the thorough reconstruction of the Vlorë Naval Shipyard and the building of a new assembly hall, in which vessels as large as 60 meters can be constructed. Both projects were handled by Damen Services. The whole operation has been carried out under the late ORET program of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Its objective was to support sustainable investment in infrastructural projects in developing countries.
Under the Damen Technical Cooperation (DTC) concept the complete, prefabricated material packages for the construction hall and the patrol vessel were sent to Albania. The well-proven and standardised material packages can be used to build a Damen-designed vessel according to the builder’s own wishes and requirements and at a shipyard in the customers’ country. Often, these building ‘kits’ include instruction and supervision from Damen teams during assembly, as was the case with this project.
The assembly hall stands tall. During the first year there was a permanent Damen team in Vlorë of eight people to train and assist their Albanian counterparts in the building process. The transfer of their working skills to the local workers was one of the key success factors of this project. In order to enhance their skills several Albanian teams visited Damen’s HQ in Gorinchem (The Netherlands) to receive intensive training and instruction. On return, they trained their colleagues. The result of this knowledge transfer is that all one hundred people currently working at the Vlorë shipyard are now qualified and, where applicable, certified. They have mastered a wide range of specialisations in construction techniques, be it in steel, aluminium or electrics.
Frank de Lange is clearly committed to this project. “This country’ has truly got a lot to offer. Changes take place rapidly. Not all are optimal, but still the country modernises and grows. And the country is rich in resources, particularly minerals. The Albanian government is a stable and interesting partner. We have established an excellent relationship during the course of this project and the close cooperation with both the Dutch and Albanian governments can be regarded as a model for future venues.”
To live up to expectations for full NATO membership the Albanian Government works on the transformation a revitalisation of its armed forces. Monitoring and protecting the territorial waters is one of the ambitious tasks set. With this project Damen Shipyards supports this process, starting with the sharing of its own shipbuilding knowledge.
Damen has already sold and delivered 25 Stan Patrols 4207 and a series of comparable Stan Patrol vessels is under construction (in licence) for the US and Canadian Coast Guards. The Oriku will be a support to the Albanian Coast Guard to carry out its tasks.
Naval Today Staff, July 17, 2012; Image: Damen