Dredging & Marine Construction

GLDD Announces More Than $173 Million In Contract Awards

Houston-based Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation (GLDD), the largest dredging contractor in the United States, closed 2023 with the announcement of $173.7 million in new contract awards. Five projects ranging from the southern states of Texas, Louisiana and Florida to the New Jersey coast account for the new contracts.

In Texas, GLDD will dredge phase one of the Sabine-Neches Waterway Channel Improvement Project, from Sabine Bank Channel to Sabine Pass Channel. Great Lakes expects to begin the work in the first quarter of this year, with completion projected for the fourth quarter this year. The client for the project is the Sabine-Neches Navigation District, with the project both federally and privately funded.

To the east in Louisiana, Great Lakes has been awarded an $11.1 million rental contract for dredging the Atchafalaya River bay, bar and Crewboat Cut, with an additional $6.8 million in open options pending award. The New Orleans Engineer District is the client for the project. Work has already started, and GLDD expects to complete the project this quarter.

Included in the announced $173.7 million in contract awards are two projects in Florida: the St. Augustine Shore Protection Project and the Duval County Shore Protection Beach Renourishment Project. GLDD expects to complete the former in the first quarter of this year, with the latter getting underway in the second quarter and finishing in the third quarter. The Jacksonville Engineer District is the client on both projects in Florida.

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Finally, GLDD has been awarded the Great Egg Harbor Inlet Beach Renourishment Project in New Jersey, which will involve dredging inlet and offshore borrow areas and depositing material on beaches in Ocean City, Upper Township and Sea Isle. The Philadelphia Engineer District is the client for that project, which will be funded by both the federal government and the state of New Jersey. Work has already begun, with completion expected the second quarter of this year.

“Great Lakes is pleased to add these important projects to our 2023 backlog of capital, coastal protection and maintenance work,” said Lasse Petterson, president and CEO of Great Lakes Dredge & Dock. “Working on these projects allows Great Lakes to help support the overall improvement and resiliency of our country’s environment, coastlines and infrastructure.”

GLDD could also be back in the running for another beach renourishment project in New Jersey, following a favorable decision by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), announced December 19, 2023. Earlier last year, GLDD was the low bidder on project to repair portions of the New Jersey coast between Manasquan Inlet and Barnegat Inlet, but when bids came in above estimates, the Corps moved to cancel its invitation for bids (IFB) and convert the project to a negotiated procurement. The GAO ruled that move ran askew of the law.

“While the agency had a compelling reason to cancel the IFB when the bids received exceeded available funding, this reason for cancellation did not provide the agency with the legal authority to convert the IFB to a negotiated procurement,” the GAO said in its report.

Bill Hanson, senior vice president for market development at GLDD, said the company is eager to move forward on the project as the low bidder and noted GLDD’s long term partnership with the Philadelphia District.

“We look forward to getting this important project underway,” he said.

MarAd Title XI Financing

GLDD has also announced positive movement on construction and financing for the Acadia, the company’s forthcoming offshore wind rock installation vessel, which is already under contract for a pair of wind energy projects. The application for financing under the Maritime Administration’s Title XI for the Acadia is now complete, which means the loan process is progressing toward its final phase. MarAd’s Title XI program offers financing for ships at lower interest rates than with private lenders.

“We have fostered a strong relationship with MarAd and are pleased to have reached this significant milestone in the application process,” Petterson said. “We continue to make great strides in our strategy to be a leading contributor in the evolving U.S. offshore wind market, and we look forward to further collaboration with MarAd to complete the Title XI process.”

Philly Shipyard cut steel on the Acadia last summer in a ceremony that had President Joe Biden in attendance. With delivery expected toward the end of this year, the Acadia will be the first Jones Act subsea rock installation vessel in the United States.

The forthcoming vessel is already under contract for the Empire Wind I project in New York, with rock installation currently planned for 2025. Empire Offshore Wind LLC, while still moving forward on Empire Wind I, recently announced the termination of the Empire Wind II rock installation contract, signaling that the company is backing away from Empire Wind II.

Late last year, GLDD announced another rock installation contract for Acadia, this time with Orsted.

Following Empire’s announcement regard the Empire Wind II contract, Eleni Beyko, GLDD’s senior vice president for offshore wind, reiterated Great Lake’s commitment to wind energy projects in the United States and beyond.

“We look forward to the start of the Empire Wind I installation expected in 2025, continuing our relationship with Equinor and BP as a preferred supplier and bidding on future projects,” Beyko said. “We continue to pursue additional opportunities, including projects internationally for 2026 and beyond.”