Signal Ship Repair (SSR), a division of Signal International, Inc., Mobile, AL, competitively bid and won a contract worth about $16 million by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to repair and repower the trailing suction Hopper Dredge Wheeler, according to company executives. SSR emerged as the lowest bidder among three shipyards competing for the contract.
Bob Beckmann, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Signal Ship Repair Division, told MARINE LOG that the project would be extensive and involve a couple of hundred tons of steel work. SSR will provide engineering and marine services to perform main engine replacement, auxiliary systems modifications, repair work, and testing of the Dredge Wheeler for the Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District.
The 11-month project will commence in February with phase one pre-planning, engineering, and scheduling portion. The second phase begins in July with the Dredge Wheeler on the SSR drydock for capital improvements, maintenance and repair work comprising of renovations to the propulsion system, the dredge generator system, and the ship service generators. Modifications to the fresh water cooling system, repowering fuel systems, walkways, electrical systems, Integrated Control and Monitoring system, as well as, the navigation and controls system will also receive upgrades.
“SSR is our preeminent ship repair yard and ideal for this type of overhaul vessel work,” commented Dick Marler, CEO and President of Signal International. “Our full-service engineering department and comprehensive marine services enable us to provide a first-rate product, on schedule to the government.”
As part of the contract, the Wheeler will undergo inspections and testing in accordance with the regulations and standards of the ABS and USCG and other regulatory agencies. “It is anticipated we will add nearly 100 craft personnel to help sustain our workforce during the year at over 250 employees,” noted Bob Beckmann, senior vice president and general manager, Signal Ship Repair division.
The Wheeler, which is the largest and most powerful hopper dredge in the Corps of Engineers’ fleet, is 408 feet in overall length and displaces 10,614.47 long tons. The Wheeler maintains waterway channels from Key West, Florida, to Brownsville, Texas. The dredge is maintained in a state of readiness for worldwide operations, with the majority of its time operating in the Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River, dealing with shoaling problems that occur during high and low water.
February 3, 2012