Shipbuilding News, October 2020

Edison Chouest building wind farm service vessel
Orsted and Eversource have reached agreement with Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO) to build and operate a service operations vessel (SOV) in support of several offshore wind power projects proposed in the Northeast. The vessel will be the first of its kind built in the United States specifically for offshore wind. 

ECO will build the 260-foot vessel at multiple company shipyards, including those in Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana. The project will create up to 300 construction jobs. Once complete, the ship will support operations and maintenance at the Revolution Wind, South Fork Wind and Sunrise Wind farms. All three proposed offshore sites are awaiting final federal approval. 

The 260-foot ship will be capable of housing 60 passengers. It will be equipped with cabins with private bathrooms; an exercise room; a cinema/training room and internet cafe, and multiple lounge areas. Propulsion will be provided by EPA Tier 4 engines and ECO’s proprietary variable frequency drives.

ECO President Gary Chouest highlighted the “unprecedented opportunity” offered by offshore wind. He noted 12 offshore wind projects are currently planned, with leases signed for 10 others. Six are awaiting lease awards. 

These projects, he said, “will require an incredible array of vessels, resources, knowledge, and capital commitment to install, operate and repair.”

Orsted North America builds and operates wind turbines both on land and offshore. Eversource is a large electric utility serving customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The new SOV will operate from New York after commissioning.


Seaspan delivers third OFSV to Canadian Coast Guard
The Canadian Coast Guard took delivery on Oct. 9 of its third offshore fisheries science vessel (OFSV) from Seaspan Shipyards of Victoria, British Columbia. 

CCGS John Cabot completes the first full class of ships built under Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy, according to Seaspan. The two other ships in the series are CCGS Capt. Jacques Cartier and CCGS Sir John FranklinCCGS John Cabot is based in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

“With the delivery of CCGS John Cabot, we are ensuring that Fisheries and Oceans scientists and the Coast Guard have a modern platform including the equipment and technology they need to conduct vital scientific research, as well as support Coast Guard programs and services,” said Bernadette Jordan, minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard. 

Seaspan said the OFSV project has supported more than a dozen major partners, as well as 450 suppliers employing thousands of people.


Keppel AmFELS wins contract for largest US hopper dredge
Manson Construction Co. of Seattle has ordered a trailing suction hopper dredge from Keppel AmFELS that will be the largest of its kind in the United States.

The 420-foot vessel will be Jones Act compliant and will have a hopper capacity of 15,000 cubic yards. It will be “highly automated” and equipped with a diesel-electric power system, according to Brownsville, Texas-based Keppel AmFELS.

“We are pleased to be partnering with Keppel AmFELS due to their impressive vessel construction capabilities,” said John Holmes, president of Manson Construction. “Their value proposition is strengthened by our shared focus on safety. We are confident they will provide us an efficient, environmentally friendly and high-quality dredge that exceeds the stringent environmental restrictions and regulations for dredges in the U.S.”

The projected delivery date was not disclosed. The new dredge will operate primarily in the Gulf of Mexico and along the Atlantic coast. 


Eastern Shipbuilding lays keel for Weeks dredge
Eastern Shipbuilding of Panama City, Fla., recently laid the keel for a new trailing suction hopper dredge for Weeks Marine. Steel cutting began on Aug. 19.

The 356-foot R.B. Weeks is named for Richard B. Weeks, the co-founder of Weeks Marine based in Cranford, N.J. He is married to Magdalen Weeks, the namesake of a sister trailing suction hopper dredge that Eastern delivered in late 2017.

The new vessel, designed by Royal IHC, will be powered by twin GE Tier 4 engines paired with Wartsila controllable-pitch propellers through Siemens/Flender gears. Two shaft generators will produce 3,400 kW, and a Tier 4 GE genset will provide 1,423 kW. The dredge’s hopper capacity will be 8,550 cubic yards. 

Delivery is scheduled for early 2023.


Metal Shark builds custom tender for research nonprofit
The New York-based OceanX exploration nonprofit has taken delivery of a 38-foot research tender built by Metal Shark.

The aluminum monohull Ocean Explorer was built on Metal Shark’s 38 Defiant design. The vessel is outfitted as an offshore marine platform as well as floating digital production studio.

Propulsion comes from twin 550-hp Cummins QSB 6.7 diesel inboard engines paired with HamiltonJet HJ292 waterjets. The boat is equipped with a HamiltonJet JETanchor system for station keeping and “virtual anchoring,” and a Seakeeper system reduces pitch and roll. 

Ocean Explorer can operate from a “mothership” and take fuel from that larger vessel. The smaller craft also has a removable push knee for additional versatility and safe boarding at the bow.


Fincantieri Bay delivers self-unloading barge for Great Lakes
VanEnkevort Tug & Barge Inc. (VTB) has taken delivery of a self-unloading barge built by Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding for use on the Great Lakes. It will be paired with an existing tugboat for operation as an articulated tug-barge. 

The 740-by-78-foot Michigan Trader can carry 37,000 long tons of cargo and is equipped with a 165-foot unloading boom. The vessel becomes the 10th barge in the VTB fleet, which operates in the Gulf of Mexico, along the Mississippi River and on the Great Lakes. 

“Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding has always provided repair services to VTB and built the hull for (its) first new tug, Joyce VanEnkevort,” said Fincantieri Bay Vice President and General Manager Todd Thayse.

Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, based in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., highlighted the many suppliers and vendors from Wisconsin and neighboring states that supported construction of Michigan Trader.

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