Conrad Shipyard hosted a keel laying ceremony for a new 6,500 cubic yard trailing suction hopper dredge it is building for Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company (GLDD). Delivery is scheduled before the end of the first quarter of 2023.

The dredge will feature two 800mm suction pipes and will be able to dredge at depths of up to 100 feet. The vessel has principal dimensions of approximately 346 feet in length, 69 feet in breadth and 23 feet in depth, and total installed horsepower of 16,500. The new dredge will be well-suited to multiuse applications on various project types. It will be deployed for channel deepening, maintenance dredging, beach nourishment, and coastal restoration projects with short to medium distance transport requirements.

The dredge will be equipped with a direct high-power pump-ashore installation, dredging system automation, dynamic positioning and tracking, US EPA Tier IV compliant engines, and additional features designed to minimize the impact of its dredging process on the environment. The Tier 4- compliant engines significantly reduce the vessel’s climate footprint, while other incorporated features minimize turbidity and marine species entrainment. Best-in-class accommodations feature single-occupancy staterooms, a workout room, and a movie theater with raised seating that doubles as a training facility.

Addressing an audience of Conrad and GLDD executives, Louisiana’s Lt. Governor, United States Coast Guard personnel, shipyard workers and guests at the keel laying ceremony, Conrad Chairman and CEO Johnny Conrad discussed the significance of the relationship and commented on the synergies between the two companies:

“Our valued relationship began more than 35 years ago, and in that time, we have worked together on several projects including deck barges, anchor barges and dredge support equipment. In addition to those new construction projects, we have done repair and conversion work for GLDD, including the dredge Alaska, which is in our shipyard now for repairs. It is our honor to build this vessel for you.”

“I would like to thank Great Lakes Dredge and Dock for the confidence and trust that you showed in awarding us this project. Your recognition that your workforce is the reason for your success aligns well with Conrad corporate values. I’ve heard my father and our founder, Parker Conrad, say that exact same thing many, many times. It was one of his founding principles,” he said.

Bill Hanson, GLDD Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Business Development, said that the company has worked off the Louisiana Gulf Coast for more than 80 years. He praised the Conrad workforce for their quality and also Louisiana Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser for his support of the dredging industry and coastal restoration.

Billy Nungesser, Louisiana Lt. Governor, described Conrad Shipyard and Great Lakes Dredge and Dock as two of the finest companies with whom he has ever been associated. He noted that the history of the two companies showed their respect for the environment and pledged his continuing support for coastal restoration and navigable shipping channels.

GLDD’s Bill Hanson, Chris Roberts, and Vidar Lindmoen initialed the keel panels for later beading by a welder.

Chairman & CEO Johnny Conrad and Louisiana Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser (Photo: Conrad Shipyard)

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