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Conrad Industries to Build New Hopper Dredge; Will Work in Corps Wilmington District

The 518-cubic yard hopper dredge is designed to work in  the shallow tidal inlets on the U.S. East Coast.

The 518-cubic yard hopper dredge is designed to work in the shallow tidal inlets on the U.S. East Coast.

Artist’s rendering of the new Corps of Engineers shallow-draft hopper dredge. Drawings courtesy of Jensen Maritime.

Artist’s rendering of the new Corps of Engineers shallow-draft hopper dredge. Drawings courtesy of Jensen Maritime.

The general arrangement drawing of the new dredge.

The general arrangement drawing of the new dredge.

The pump arrangement on the new dredge, designed by Peter de Jong.  The complete dredging installment includes the dragarm, suction and discharge pumps, and davits.

The pump arrangement on the new dredge, designed by Peter de Jong. The complete dredging installment includes the dragarm, suction and discharge pumps, and davits.

On September 15, The Corps of Engineers awarded a contract for construction of a shallow draft, split hull hopper dredge to Conrad Industries, Inc. of Morgan City, Louisiana.

The contract is worth $13.1 million.

Jensen Maritime Consultants, Inc. of Seattle, received the contract for the preliminary design and the contract/bid package in 2005, working from specifications provided by the Corps of Engineers Marine Design Center in Philadelphia.

Jensen sub-contracted Peter deJong to design the dredging installation, and deJong’s business partner Steve Sonye to write the specifications for the electronic control and instrumentation systems. The electrical engineering package was done by subcontractor DC Maritime Technologies Inc., and the rest of the design was done by Jensen, said Johan Sperling, Jensen’s director of Business Development.

The dredging installment includes the dragarm, suction and discharge pumps, and davits.

The dredge is a 156-foot, self-propelled hopper dredge with a draft of four feet, three inches, and a loaded draft of nine feet, five inches, allowing it to work in the shallow tidal inlets on the East Coast, which are subject to dangerous currents. Hopper capacity is 518 cubic yards.

The new hopper dredge will work year-round in inlets from Florida to Maine, replacing one of the World War II-vintage sidecaster dredges – either the Fry or the Merritt – which will be retired.

No name has yet been chosen for the dredge. William Gretzmacher of the Marine Design Center said “The normal process is for the owning District to make a recommendation that is then endorsed (or not) by the Division and then authorized (or not) by USACE HQ. Since we really don’t need to know a name until we are ready to weld on the letters, I suspect this decision is downstream.”

Roger Bullock of the Wilmington District said “We have reviewed the (naming) process and are still working through it. We don’t have a decision yet since protocol requires the name to be of one deceased.”

“We have enjoyed a very good working relationship with the Corps which began in 1994. Since that time we’ve completed fourteen projects, including towboats, fuel barges and crane barges. Production of the new vessel is scheduled to begin in April 2010 with delivery during the second quarter of 2011. Our Morgan City facility also constructed and delivered to the Corps a 255’ crane barge in 2006 and a 144’ steel towboat in 2007, and currently has a 260’ crane barge in progress,” said Johnny Conrad, president and CEO of Conrad Industries.

Conrad Industries was established in 1948 and designs, builds and overhauls tugboats, ferries, liftboats, barges, offshore supply vessels and other steel and aluminum products for both the commercial and government markets. The company provides both repair and new construction services at its four shipyards in southern Louisiana and Texas.

ABOUT THE DREDGE:
• Length: 156 feet, 2 inches
• Beam: 35 feet
• Draft: 4 feet, 3 inches
• Draft (max load line): 9 feet, 5 inches
• Dredging depth: 20 feet
• Split hull dredge capacity: 518 cubic yards
• ABS classed
• No living quarters
• Design was performed by Jensen Maritime per contract awarded in September, 2005
• Date of construction contract award with Conrad Shipyard: September 15, 2009
• Contract award amount – Vessel: $12,739,063; Spares: $320,912
• Projected date of Notice To Proceed: Oct 15, 2009
• Detailed engineering phase and procurement of equipment: six months
• Physical construction period: 12 months
• Projected delivery date: May 2011

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