Weeks Marine signs contract with Eastern for new hopper dredge

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Dredge will be sister ship to Magdalen (above).

Cranford, N.J., headquartered Weeks Marine has signed a contract with Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Panama City, Fla., covering construction of a sister ship to Weeks Marine’s TSHD Magdalen, a twin screw trailing suction hopper dredge built by Eastern and placed into service in 2018.

The new vessel will be constructed at Eastern’s Allanton Panamshipyard in Panama City.

“I spoke this morning with Lt. General Todd T. Semonite, Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers informing him of the contract we signed with Eastern to build the new hopper dredge,” said Richard S. Weeks, Chief Executive Officer of Weeks Marine. “We work hand-in-hand with the Army Corps of Engineers in delivering the mission for our country.”

Named the R.B. Weeks, the new trailing suction hopper dredge is scheduled for delivery early first quarter 2023 (or earlier). The R.B. Weeks, is named after the co-founder of the company and the husband of Magdalen Weeks, for whom the Magdalen is named.

“This is the third major capital construction shipbuilding project in as many years for Weeks Marine. It reflects Weeks Marine’s commitment to building dredges to serve the needs of the United States of America,” said William P. Doyle, Chief Executive Officer of the Dredging Contractors of America. “U.S. dredging companies are putting people to work and keeping them working doing America’s dredging – American built – American owned – American crewed.”

It is the third large scale hopper dredge over the past five years that Eastern has built and is constructing, reflecting Eastern’s commitment to building complex dredge vessels for the U.S. Jones Act maritime industry.

Main Characteristics of the R.B. Weeks (ESG hull #258):
  • Dimensions (Overall): 356 feet x 79 feet 6 inches x 27 feet 3 inches
  • Main Engines: (2) GE 16V250 MDC IMOIII/EPA Tier 4
  • Main Propulsion: (2) Wärtsilä CPP in Nozzles
  • Main Gears: (2) Siemens (Flender)
  • Bow Thruster: (1) AC 730kW VFD Fixed Pitch Tunnel Unit
  • Main Shaft Generators: (2) x 3400 kW
  • Auxiliary Generator: (1) GE 6L250 MDC (1423kW) IMOIII/EPA Tier 4
  • Emergency Generator: (1) Caterpillar C18 (430kW) IMOII/EPA Tier 3
  • Classification: Lloyd’s Register, 100A1 Hopper Dredger, LMC, UMS
  • Flag & Regulatory: U.S., U.S. Coast Guard
  • Hopper Capacity: 8,550 cu.yd (6,540 cu.m)
  • Accommodations: 26 persons
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