About Damen Shiprepair Vlissingen
Damen Shiprepair Vlissingen, formerly known as Scheldepoort, has a cast-iron reputation in the area of maintenance, repair and conversion with regard to all types of seagoing vessels and offshore installations, Whether they are container carriers, pipe-laying vessels, LNG carriers, seismic vessels, dredging vessels, offshore installations or indeed any other floating object.
The history of the Royal Schelde Group began in the year 1875 when Arie Smit took over the site of the former Marine Establishment Flushing, a shipyard for the construction, repairing and equipping of naval vessels that had closed seven years earlier. Scheldepoort started as a spin-off from the Royal Schelde Group in 1960 with the construction of two dry docks. Over the following years several floating docks have also been used, with the core business that of maintaining, repairing and converting seagoing vessels based in the port of Flushing. In 1964 the Antonia, our very first new vessel, came out of dry dock.
Strategically located in the Sloe area
In 1961 the Schelde moved from Vlissingen to the Sloe area and began creating what is now Damen Shiprepair Vlissingen. The main fairway was dredged, new shore works and harbour embankments constructed, and some areas were raised in height and the harbour basin and shores built. The Royal Company Schelde was the first company to start out in the Sloe area, and it has since become a major industrial area. The site is strategically located close to the major North Sea shipping routes and in the centre of the ARA ports region.
From naval vessels to airplanes
The construction work lasted from the spring of 1961 up until mid-1964. Royal Company Schelde was involved in building the dry docks, the delivery of materials and the construction of dock doors, pipelines in dock galleries and shore tunnels, and regular and emergency stairs. From the start the Royal Schelde Group was known for building naval vessels, but due to the economic crisis in the thirties the Schelde was forced to focus on other markets as well. They even started a division that built airplanes in Dordrecht and Flushing, including the S12 sports plane. In 1954 this division was taken over by Fokker while the airplane building operation in Flushing was closed down. However throughout the following years the Royal Company Schelde not only focused on naval vessels but also on the civilian ship market as well. To this day the building of particularly large vessels for naval and patrol purposes is the most important activity of the yard.
Working families at the Royal Schelde Group
Famous all over the world and the employer of approximately 4,000 staff the Royal Schelde Group had many entire families working there; grandfathers, fathers and sons, uncles and nephews. In the city of Flushing there was a whole area of housing built just for the employees of the company. All the companies in the Royal Schelde Group were located either in Flushing or nearby. At one time the various companies in the group specialised in building generators, boilers, steam turbines, ship parts, engineering and steelwork.
The merger with Damen Shipyards
In the nineties the company could barely survive and in the year 2000 Damen Shipyards Group bought the group for one guilder. The various companies were separated and each made responsible for becoming profitable once again. Since 2001 Scheldepoort, or Damen Shiprepair Vlissingen as our yard was called after its acquisition by Damen Shipyards Group, is self-supporting and has proved to be capable to doing business profitably based on the knowledge and experience built up in the years before.