Hopper dredge Galveston Island launched at Conrad Shipyards. Photo: Great Lakes Dredge & Dock

New Hopper Dredge for Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Launched at Conrad Shipyard

Mike Schuler
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December 5, 2022

Houston-based Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation (NASDAQ: GLDD), the largest provider of dredging services in the U.S., has announced the launch of the first of two newbuild hopper dredges under construction at Conrad Shipyard in Amelia, Louisiana.

The new dredge, named the Galveston Island, is one of two 6,500-cubic-yard-capacity Trailing Suction Hopper Dredges supporting the modernization of Great Lakes’ dredging fleet. The dredges will be equipped with a direct high-power pump-ashore installation, dredging system automation, dynamic positioning and tracking, and U.S. EPA Tier IV compliant engines to significantly reduce the vessel’s climate footprint. The vessels will have the capability of running on biofuel to further minimize the environmental impact.

Delivery of the Galveston Island is scheduled to be in operation the first half of 2023, as planned.

GLDD says the delivery will enable it to continue the rationalization of its older assets, including the retirement of the hopper dredge Terrapin Island during the fourth quarter of 2022. The Terrapin Island, which has a 42-year working history, was planned for retirement upon the Galveston Island delivery, but GLDD has decided to accelerate her retirement to significantly reduce its operating, labor and maintenance costs and improve productivity for the overall fleet.

The company said work planned for the Terrapin Island will be delayed until another hopper dredge completes its regulatory drydock at the end of December. The retirement will result in a non-cash write-off of approximately $8 million in the fourth quarter of 2022.

CLDD’s hopper fleet renewal program will be complete in 2025 with the delivery of the sister ship to the Galveston Island, at which time Great Lakes will have the largest and most modern hopper fleet in the US.

“After implementing our restructuring plan in 2017, we have invested in both productivity upgrades to our best performing vessels and executed on our new build program,” said Lasse Petterson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Great Lakes. “This has provided us with additional capacity and improved efficiencies and will allow us to retire some of our older dredges and rationalize some of our older support equipment. These strategic moves will have a positive impact to our emissions footprint and our competitiveness in the coastal protection and maintenance markets as well as address the specific needs in the growing offshore wind market.”

Delivery of the second vessel, which was only ordered this past June, will take place in the first quarter of 2025.

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