The Royal Moroccan Navy has taken delivery of a Damen Stan Pontoon 3011 Water Barge. They will immediately mobilise the vessel to supply fresh drinking water to areas of Morocco suffering from a long-lasting drought.
Damen, the Netherlands-based shipbuilder, constructed the vessel at their Gorinchem, Netherlands shipyard, within a tight timeframe due to the contract’s urgent humanitarian aspect, said the company.
The Royal Moroccan Navy will be able to transfer the Stan Pontoon Water Barge between locations with either a tug or workboat. Furthermore, due to its narrow 11-metre beam, a greater range of harbours are also accessible. Needing only a supply of diesel to operate, the vessel is a self-sufficient water making platform.
The vessel’s design takes into account the efficiency of future service and maintenance issues. Most notably, the water makers installed on the Stan Pontoon Water Barge are larger versions of the same type that are found on the three Damen-built Moroccan naval frigates that entered service in 2011 and 2012.
In addition to the humanitarian aspect, the arrival of the vessel will also have a potential economic impact on the region. As the Moroccan agricultural industry begins to experience the damaging effects of the present drought conditions, a certain amount of the water may be used for irrigation purposes.