Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corp., Oak Brook, Ill., announced today it had awarded a contract for the construction of a 6,500-cu.-yd.-capacity trailing suction hopper dredge to Conrad Shipyard, Morgan City, La. The contract includes an option to build an additional dredge, should market conditions warrant.

Conrad will perform the detail design and construct the dredges at its Amelia, La., location based on a design provided by Great Lakes’ in-house engineering department in collaboration with C-Job Naval Architects.

With expected delivery in the first quarter of 2023, the vessel will join the company’s existing six-dredge hopper fleet, which includes the ATB tug Douglas B. Mackie and 15,000-cubic-yard-capacity barge Ellis Island, which were delivered in the fourth quarter of 2017.

“As the leader in the U.S. dredging industry, Great Lakes continues to strategically invest in its dredging fleet. This highly automated new build vessel will increase the capabilities of our hopper fleet in the coastal protection and maintenance markets as well addressing specific needs in the growing offshore wind market,” Lasse Petterson, Great Lakes’ chief executive officer and president, said in a statement announcing the contract. “We are proud to utilize American engineered and built engines, dredge pumps, technology and dredging installations to create a highly efficient and productive vessel to meet our nations’ maritime infrastructure needs. The construction of this Jones Act qualified vessel, at peak construction, will create 150 high paying shipyard jobs and upon delivery the ship will be crewed by U.S. citizen mariners. This vessel reinforces our commitment to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and faith in the future of the U.S. dredging market.”