Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corp. announced today that it has signed a contract with Philly Shipyard Inc. to build the first U.S.-flagged Jones Act-compliant, inclined fallpipe vessel for subsea rock installation. The 461'x112' vessel will service the U.S. offshore wind energy industry. 

The $197 million contract "marks a milestone for our company, the U.S. offshore wind industry and our nation,” said Lasse Petterson, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock’s president and CEO. “The unique, technologically advanced vessel we are constructing is an essential step towards building the marine infrastructure required for this new industry, which holds so much promise for our nation economically and environmentally.”

The vessel will be U.S. owned, built, operated and crewed, and will meet all conditions of the Jones Act.

The vessel will transport and strategically deposit loads of rock on the seabed, laying scour protection for offshore wind farm foundations, cables and other structures. The company said the vessel is expected to help spur additional job growth and regional economic opportunities through the creation of a U.S.-based rock supply chain network, which will be needed to supply subsea rock installation activities, from quarries in states along the East Coast.

Ulstein Design and Solutions B.V. was commissioned by the Great Lakes Dredge to design the vessel using state-of-the-art technology, equipment, and automation. The design was reviewed and approved by the American Bureau of Shipping and will be built with best-in-class safety and low emissions standards (LEV, Sustain2), EPA Tier 4 engines and plug-in capability to obtain power from shore while loading. The vessel will be able to run on biofuel which reduces the ship’s CO2 footprint and it will be equipped with advanced active emissions control technology to reduce NOx emissions to a minimum.

"The installed battery pack will shave peak loads to reduce fuel consumption and corresponding emissions," Eleni Beyko, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock’s senior vice president, offshore wind, said. "The vessel is expected to be sea ready by Q4 2024, to coincide with major offshore wind project construction timelines previously announced.”

The company said that it believes it is optimally positioned to make the business pivot into the offshore wind energy industry.

“With this newbuild vessel purpose built to meet the needs of the U.S. offshore wind industry, we are essentially harnessing the best practices to create a new dimension to our legacy and help make history for our country,” said Petterson.

Houston-based Great Lakes Dredge & Dock is the largest provider of dredging services in the U.S. 

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