Neptune Marine: Meet Johan van Vuuren

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Neptune Marine: Meet Johan van Vuuren

If anyone has great knowledge of shipbuilding and seagoing ships in markets such as offshore, dredging and heavy lifting, it is Johan van Vuuren. Johan van Vuuren is currently working for Neptune Marine. Neptune Marine is operating the shipyard at the historic location in Hardinxveld at Rivierdijk 596, formerly known as De Merwede. He has been working for De Merwede since 1989.

Since 2004 he has been responsible for all the shipbuilding production for Royal IHC. In 2015 he decided to continue the tradition of De Merwede. From this time, the location is changed from owner. Johan van Vuuren is responsible for the production activities at the ‘’Neptune Merwede’’ location. In addition, he also supports the sales activities and helps to optimize the collaborations between different departments within in Neptune.

‘’NEPTUNE MERWEDE’’, over 30 of years experience in building dredgers.

The first activities on the historic location of ‘’ Neptune Merwede’’ were done by Shipyard Merwede previously of Vliet & Co. The location of De Merwede has always had a big name and has always been a well-known name in the shipbuilding world for years. De Merwede started as a small shipyard in 1902. The first construction number of De Merwede was an iron rowing boat. Soon they build a towing barge, which was construction number 9. This towing barge had to yield NLG 1,600.00. In 1904 the yard started to build inland vessels with a length of more than 70 meters. The yard grew rapidly and in 1905 there were already a hundred people working at De Merwede. Mr. Christiaan van Vliet was the founder of Shipyard De Merwerde. From the beginning till 1992 De Merwede was a private owned shipyard. In 1992 De Merwede was taken over by IHC Caland but continued under its own name from 1992 to 2004. In 2004 they changed the name to IHC Merwede which used the location for another decade. In 2016, the location was acquired by Neptune Marine, a family owned group of maritime companies.

Altogether, it is a location with a lot of history. The location has grown over the years into one of the largest covered slopes in Europe since 1981. When Johan started in the year 1989 the yard was building Construction number 649. From construction number 655, Johan was involved in all dredgers built at De Merwede location. He started in 1989 in exactly the same office as where he is located now. He immediately started as an assistant manager, where he was involved, among other things, with casco’s.

Johan managed the construction of the following custom built hopper dredgers.

Yard Number Owner Name Vesel Delivery  Location
654 Southcoast Shipping Sand Heron 1990 Merwede
655 Southcoast Shipping Sand Harrier 1990 Merwede
659 JFJ. De Nul J.F.J. De Nul 1992 Merwede
664 Tianjin Waterway Burea Tong Li 1994 Merwede
670 Ballast Nedam/V. Oord Amsterdam/Utrecht 1996 Merwede
674 Southcoast Shipping Sand Falcon 1998 Merwede
675 Southcoast Shipping Sand Fulmar 1998 Merwede
676 Dredging International Lange Wapper 1999 Merwede
686 Boskalis Waterway 2001 Merwede
692 Boskalis Coastway 2002 Merwede
694 Dredging International Uilenspiegel 2002 Merwede
695 Boskalis Prins der Nederlanden 2004 Merwede
696 Boskalis Oranje 2004 Merwede
718 Boskalis Gateway 2010 Merwede

More recently, Neptune Marine has delivered various dredging projects such as a fully LNG powered grabhopper dredger (Werkendam), various cutter dredgers, dipper dredgers, splitbarges and hoppers (from 200m3 – 3000 m3), refit of a 2000m3 hopper (Contender). Overall Neptune is active in the building of dredging equipment over 30 years.

Type of ships and options
De Merwede already has an incredible number of dredgers on their name. Johan says that the largest dredgers where built at De Merwede shipyard at that time. These ships were built for Boskalis and have the name Prins der Nederlanden (construction number 695) and the Oranje (construction number 696). Both dredgers have a length of 156 meters and are 28 meters wide. These were built one after the other. They were both delivered in 2004.

Neptune Marine
The takeover by Neptune means a future based on a historic fundament. The expertise of Neptune in combination with this beautiful location makes it possible to remain building these type of ships on the slipway. With all the in-house expertise Neptune can provide the client with a total solution.