Conrad Shipyard, Morgan City, La., held a steel cutting ceremony recently for a new suction hopper dredge for Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corp. (GLDD).

The 6,500-cu.-yd. trailing suction hopper dredge is scheduled for delivery by the end of the second quarter of 2023.

The 346'x69'x23' dredge will feature two 800-mm suction pipes, will be able to dredge at depths of up to 100', and have total installed horsepower of 16,500. The new dredge is designed to be well-suited to multiuse applications on various project types. It will be deployed for channel deepening, maintenance dredging, beach nourishment, and coastal restoration projects with short to medium distance transport requirements.

The dredge will be equipped with a direct high-power pump-ashore installation, dredging system automation, dynamic positioning and tracking, EPA Tier 4 compliant engines, and additional features designed to minimize the impact of its dredging process on the environment. The Tier 4 engines significantly reduce the vessel’s climate footprint, while other incorporated features minimize turbidity and marine species entrainment. Best-in-class accommodations feature single-occupancy staterooms, a workout room, and a movie theater with raised seating that doubles as a training facility.

“The steel cutting for this new hopper dredge is an important milestone for Great Lakes as we strategically invest in our fleet capacity to meet the nation’s maritime infrastructure needs,” David Simonelli, GLDD's chief operating officer, said. “We are proud to partner with Conrad in the construction of this state-of-the-art, Jones Act-compliant vessel which when operational will rebuild and protect our shorelines, deepen and maintain shipping channels and help restore Louisiana’s eroded barrier islands and marshes.”

“Great Lakes has been a valued customer of Conrad, and we appreciate their continued confidence in Conrad to construct this highly automated vessel to complement Great Lakes’ existing fleet," said Dan Conrad, the shipyard's senior vice president and director. "We look forward to working with the Great Lakes team to provide another quality vessel to serve the U.S. dredging market.”