Damen Shipyards Group has appointed Chiel de Leeuw to the newly-created position of sales director RoPax. The appointment reflects the company’s strategy of expanding into the design and building of larger, one-off vessels in the offshore, cruise and RoPax sectors. In his new role, Chiel will be responsible for creating new business in the RoRo and RoPaxmarkets for vessels over 120 metres in length.
Chiel has served as sales manager for Western Europe, a role that involved him in a wide variety of ferry projects. As sales director RoPax he is now the public face of Damen within this sector.
According to Damen, analysis by its business development department has identified an anticipated increase in demand for vessels of this size and type in the coming five to 10 years, based on market cycles and new emissions regulations which are leading owners to consider both retrofit and newbuild solutions to ensure compliance.
Damen stated that it’s in-house research department already has the capabilities needed to develop the required EEDI and Safe Return to Port regulations, and Knud E. Hansen, a naval architecture firm, that is a member of the Damen Shipyards Group, has many years’ experience in the design of such vessels. The firm also has a track record in cruise ships and large offshore vessels, two other areas into which Damen is expanding.
As well as design and engineering capabilities, Chiel will have all the resources and expertise of Damen’s latest acquisition, Damen Shipyards Mangalia in Romania, with docks up to 60 meters wide and one million square metres of operational space.
Damen Shipyards Group operates 35 shipbuilding and repair yards, employing 12,000 people worldwide.