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Eastern Gets Green Light to Build USACE Hopper Dredge

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

August 29, 2023

(Image: Eastern Shipbuilding Group)

(Image: Eastern Shipbuilding Group)

Florida-based Eastern Shipbuilding Group announced on Tuesday it has received a notice to proceed after winning a contract to design and build a new hopper dredge for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).

The 6,000-cubic-yard-capacity diesel-electric dredge will be constructed at Eastern’s Allanton and Port St. Joe facilities and is scheduled for delivery in 2027, the builder said.

The new medium-class hopper dredge (MCHD) will be based at the Corps’ Philadelphia District, replacing the 57-year-old McFarland, one of four oceangoing hopper dredges owned and operated by the USAC.

Homeported at the USACE Fort Mifflin dock facility on the Delaware River in Philadelphia, the new dredge will generally be kept dockside on shore power in a standby mode as a "Ready Reserve" dredge to perform urgent or emergency dredging when needed, according to the Corps. It will also complete 70 days of dredging in the Delaware River on an annual basis.

In July it was announced that Eastern beat out two other bidders to secure the shipbuilding contract, which is worth about $257 million.

For the design, Eastern worked with longtime partner Royal IHC, headquartered in the Netherlands. The hullform—based on Royal IHC’s Beagle trailing suction hopper dredge (TSHD) series—provides "the best balance of proven carrying capacity, dredging performance, seakeeping and open water transit operations as well as highly predictable operating characteristics", Eastern said.

Eastern has built a number of large hopper dredges in recent years, including newbuilds for Weeks Marine and Great Lakes Dredge & Dock.

"On behalf of the highly skilled workforce at Eastern, I thank the Army Corps for entrusting us with this historic hopper dredge project that will serve an indispensable role in our national maritime priorities," said Joey D’Isernia, CEO, Eastern Shipbuilding Group. "Eastern is the only U.S. shipyard to have delivered comparable dredges in the past 15 years. We look forward to a strong partnership with USACE as we deliver this significant project on their behalf."

Length: 320’
Beam: 72’
Hull Depth: 28’
Draft (hopper empty): 11’3”
Draft (hopper full): 25’6”
Maximum Hopper Capacity: 6,000 yd3
Maximum Dredging Depth: 65’

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