The 6,500-cubic-yard-capacity dredge Galveston Island is the first of two sister trailing suction hopper dredges that Conrad Shipyard is building for Great Lakes Dredge & Dock. (photo courtesy of Great Lakes Dredge & Dock)
Dredging & Marine Construction

Conrad Launches New Hopper Dredge For GLDD

Conrad Industries has launched the Galveston Island, the first of two hopper dredges the company is building for Great Lakes Dredge & Dock (GLDD) at its Amelia, La., shipyard. The 6,500-cubic-yard-capacity trailing suction hopper dredge is scheduled for delivery and operation in the first half of 2023. The keel was laid in April 2021.

The Galveston Island will feature Tier 4-compliant main engines rated at a total horsepower of 16,500 and with the ability to run on biofuels. The dredge will feature two 31.5-inch suction pipes and will be able to dredge at depths up to 100 feet. The vessel measures 346 feet by 69 feet, with a depth of 23 feet. The dredge will have pump-ashore capabilities and will feature dredging system automation and dynamic positioning and tracking. The Galveston Island will offer crew members single-occupancy staterooms, a workout room and dedicated space for entertainment and training. Besides the vessel’s Tier 4 engines that lower emissions, the Galveston Island is also designed to minimize turbidity and marine species entrainment.

Conrad announced last summer that GLDD has exercised the contract option to build a sister to the Galveston Island. Expected delivery for the second dredge is the first quarter of 2025. The projects are part of Great Lakes’ long-term effort to renew and grow its fleet.

“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 CEO of Great Lakes Dredge & Dock. “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.

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“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,” he added.

In announcing the launch of the Galveston Island, GLDD also confirmed its plans to retire the hopper dredge Terrapin Island by year’s end. Great Lakes had planned to retire the 42-year-old Terrapin Island upon deployment of the Galveston Island, but the company opted to move that up “to significantly reduce its operating, labor and maintenance costs and improve productivity for the overall fleet.” The retirement of the Terrapin Island will now follow completion of the regulatory drydocking of one of the company’s other dredges at the end of this month.

Retirement of the Terrapin Island will allow a non-cash write-off of about $8 million for the fourth quarter of 2022, the company stated.