Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation, the largest provider of dredging services in the United States and a major provider of commercial and industrial demolition and remediation services, announced today the execution of definitive contracts for the construction of a 15,000-cubic-yard-capacity Trailing Suction Hopper Barge and 14,000-horsepower Tug.
When delivered in the second quarter of 2014, these vessels will function as an Articulated Tug & Barge (“ATB”) Trailing Suction Hopper Dredge and will comprise the largest hopper dredge in the United States.
The Company has contracted with Signal International Inc., operating from Mobile, Alabama; Orange, Texas; and Pascagoula, Mississippi, for the construction of both vessels, with an option to build an additional dredge, should domestic or international market conditions warrant. Signal International will perform the detail design and construct the dredge in Orange, Texas based on a patent pending engineered design and performance specification provided by Great Lakes. The aggregate cost of the initial dredge is expected to be approximately $94 million.
GREAT LAKES’ 122 YEAR HISTORY OF INNOVATION
Great Lakes’ patent pending design for the dredge introduces a new concept for hopper dredging in both deep and shallow waters, providing extensive flexibility. The new dredge, with a hopper capacity of 15,000 cubic yards, applies well-known and proven ATB technology to hopper dredging, enabling the Company to continue its leadership in the dredging industry as the low cost provider. The dredge will feature two 36-inch suction pipes and will be able to dredge at depths of up to 125 feet. Even with a maximum load it will only have a draft of 28 feet, the best carrying-capacity-to-draft ratio in the U.S. dredging industry. The new dredge will be well-suited to multi-use applications. It will be deployed for channel deepening, maintenance dredging, beach nourishment, and coastal restoration projects with long distance transport capabilities.
Great Lakes President of Dredging Operations Dave Simonelli stated, “We have ownership and operating experience with tug-barge dredge combinations that dates back 40 years. ATB and hopper dredge technology have advanced greatly during that time. I am pleased that our in-house engineering team working in close cooperation with Offshore Tug and Barge Corporation were able to design a proprietary unit, for which a patent is pending, that will be able to achieve ship-like productivity and efficiency at an ATB’s lower operating cost. Our dredge is a ‘game changer’ in the competitive hopper dredging marketplace and will bring important new capacity to the U.S. hopper dredge fleet. The favorable environmental and safety features of the design, including greater fuel efficiency, green overflow systems and automated processes, were important considerations. These features emphasize our focus on minimizing the impact of dredging on the environment and providing a safe work environment for our employees.”
Shipbuilding Tribune Staff, August 3, 2012; Image: gldd