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DSC to Build New Port of New Orleans Dredge

At the contract signing for the new Port of New Orleans dredge are, from left, Mike Carlson, Gary Hamilton, Bill Wetta, Bob Wetta, Damon Gonzales, Jay Meliet of the Port of New Orleans, and Charles Johnson.

At the contract signing for the new Port of New Orleans dredge are, from left, Mike Carlson, Gary Hamilton, Bill Wetta, Bob Wetta, Damon Gonzales, Jay Meliet of the Port of New Orleans, and Charles Johnson.

On June 26, Dredging Supply Company, Inc. (DSC) signed a contract with the Port of New Orleans for a new 24-inch cutter suction dredge.

Attending the ceremony were Bill Wetta, Bob Wetta, Charles Johnson, Damon Gonzales, Gary Hamilton, and Mike Carlson (all of DSC) and Jay Meliet, Joseph Fritz, and Lenny Spalluto (all of the Port of New Orleans.). The Board of the Port of New Orleans voted on May 28, 2008 to award the project to DSC. DSC was the only responsive bidder that met the precise specifications issued by the Board.

The dredge will feature a 100-foot ladder, allowing the dredge to excavate up to 60 feet below the surface. The diesel/electric dredge will be used for dredging the Port of New Orleans’ facilities along the Mississippi River, and is designed to work in river currents up to eight knots.

The dredge is designed for a small crew operation with the operational controls located in the lever room. The climate-controlled lever room will be equipped with an ergonomic operator’s chair, a PLC to control various dredge functions, and a color HMI (Human Machine Interface) or touch-screen.

DSC has also taken many safety requirements into consideration per the specifications provided by the Port. The dredge will be supplied with handrails, kick guards, and remote mounted grease fittings in safe locations, so crew members are not exposed to rotating equipment during servicing. For added protection, the dredge is furnished with fire extinguishers, and a fire fighting system will be installed with a dedicated fire pump and two fire stations. Fire sensing heat detectors will be positioned above all diesel engines and power equipment, as well as hydraulic power packages.

This contract represents the largest single sale in DSC’s history, and because of its location in relation to DSC’s headquarters, the dredge will be a great point of interest for future clients.

“I am excited about the ability to bring potential customers to the dredge to show them one of our designs in use”, said Charles Johnson, DSC’s director of sales. The custom dredge is scheduled for completion in September 2009 and will replace the aging cutter suction dredge A. Robert Bleakley.

New Orleans has been a strategic port location since the city was founded on the Mississippi River in 1718. The Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans was established in 1896 to develop and manage public port facilities and to maximize the flow of foreign and domestic waterborne commerce. The board consists of seven commissioners appointed by the governor of Louisiana.

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