World Marine of Alabama (WMA) has been awarded a contract to drydock and repair the Army Corps of Engineers hopper dredge Wheeler.
Since the Wheeler’s commissioning at Avondale Shipyards in 1982, WMA’s facility in Mobile, Ala., has drydocked and repaired the dredge on many occasions, including a complete repowering of the vessel in 2012, the shipyard said. TheWheeler, the largest and most powerful hopper dredge in the Corps’ fleet, is a 408′ trailing suction hopper dredge with a hopper capacity of over 8,200 cu. yards.
The dredge is expected to arrive at World Marine on Oct. 9 for the estimated 60-day project. Repairs will include drydocking, hull painting, double-bottom tank blasting and coating, hopper door repairs, steel renewals, dredge and jet pipe repairs, bowthruster overhaul, emergency generator replacement, pump and valve overhauls, as well as tailshaft CPP system repairs.
“Our shipyard continues to complete work packages safely, on time and on budget for our customers at competitive prices. This upcoming project on the dredge Wheeler will be no different,” Robert Beckmann, senior vice president and general manager of WMA said in announcing the contract. “It is anticipated that we will add approximately 65 craft personnel to sustain our workforce during this project.”
The Wheeler maintains waterway channels from Key West, Fla., to Brownsville, Texas. The Corps dredge is kept in a state of readiness for worldwide operations, with the majority of its time spent operating in the Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River, dealing with shoaling that occurs during high and low water.