BAE Systems to build trailing suction hopper dredge for Weeks Marine

MOBILE, Ala. – BAE Systems Southeast Shipyards Alabama has been selected by Weeks Marine, Inc. to build an 8,500 cubic yard capacity twin screw trailing suction hopper dredge at its Mobile, Alabama facility. Upon completion, dimensions of the vessel will be 356-feet long, 79-feet wide with a draft of 27 feet. Weeks Marine, Inc., which has its dredging headquarters in Covington, Louisiana, is a large provider of dredging services in the United States.

This will be a state-of-the art trailing suction hopper dredge, according to a press release, and the first designed by IHC Merwede to be built in the United States. IHC Merwede, located in The Netherlands, is a designer and builder of advanced dredging equipment.

Gibbs & Cox, an independent naval architecture and engineering firm, will provide functional engineering and detailed production support during dredge construction.

Senior VP and division manager of Weeks Marine Eric Ellefsen said in a statement: “We pride ourselves in being a leader in the dredging industry. We are dedicated to building and operating the most technologically advanced and environmentally sensitive equipment in the marketplace and are pleased to engage in this project partnered with BAE Systems and IHC Merwede. The expansion of our dredging fleet demonstrates Weeks Marine’s commitment to better serving our customer base and enhancing the overall capabilities and capacity of the U.S. dredging industry. When completed, this vessel will create over 35 permanent full-time jobs in the U.S. marketplace.”

Director andGM of BAE Systems Southeast Shipyards Alabama Victor Rhoades said in the release: “This is an exciting and positive opportunity for us. The Weeks Marine team has done a terrific job of working with us through the many details necessary to get a project like this put together. Award of the dredge is strategically important to our efforts to become an innovative leader in the commercial new construction market. We are very fortunate to have Weeks Marine, IHC Merwede and Gibbs & Cox as the key participants in completing the project. The production engineering and material procurement process will begin immediately followed by the initial cutting of steel starting in early 2012. Delivery is scheduled for January 2014. In Mobile, we anticipate this contract will lead to an additional 150 jobs at the facility over the life of the contract.”

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