Royal IHC to build Jones Act dredge for North Carolina

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Vessel will perform maintenance dredging in the seaports of Wilmington and Morehead City

Dutch shipbuilder and dredging equipment specialist Royal IHC reports that it has been awarded a contract for the design and build of a water injection dredge for the North Carolina State Ports Authority (NCSPA).

“The construction, procurement of the main components, assembly and testing will be performed in the United States (following the Jones Act regulations) and is being managed by the local IHC operations team based in Houston,” says Projects & Services Director Rafael Vorcaro. “We consider this project as an important step to develop the local team and prepare the organization for future projects in the United States.”

The engineering phase is underway and the vessel is planned to be delivered in the beginning of 2021.

In line with NCSPA’s specifications, the dredge is designed to offer easy maintenance and a smooth operation. Other key design factors include dredge depth, weight and cost. A modular approach will help to support the cost-effectiveness of the vessel and its maintenance, by allowing the easy removal and cleaning of the propulsion units, generator and jet water pump.

The vessel will perform maintenance in the main seaports of Wilmington and Morehead City in order to safeguard the depth of the ports. To do so, it will move sediment from the main channel (with the assistance of natural currents), while keeping the required material within the Cape Fear river system.

“This is IHC’s first U.S. flagged vessel,” says IHV Sales Director America Rafael Habib. “We are very proud to have achieved this important milestone for IHC, which is of key importance in continuing to develop the company’s footprint in the U.S. dredging market.”

The water injection dredge has a flow rate of 20,000 GPM (4,542 cu.m/h), a dredging depth of 55 ft (16.7 meters), a jet beam width of 27 feet (8.2 meters) and a total installed power of 770 HP (566 kW).

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