A rendering of the medium-class hopper dredge that Eastern Shipbuilding will be building for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. [ Eastern Shipbuilding Group ]
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Eastern partners to build Corps’ hopper dredge

Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc, has announced a strategic partnership with Royal IHC to design and construct a highly automated medium-class hopper dredge for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

This state-of-the-art vessel, contracted for the Department of Defense, is slated for delivery in 2027, and will be constructed at Eastern’s Allanton and Port St. Joe facilities.

Building on a history of successful collaboration, a news release from Eastern said the two companies aim to deliver an unparalleled dredging vessel, incorporating ground-breaking design, engineering, dredging equipment, and automation systems. This partnership underscores Eastern’s commitment to supporting its customers in achieving new levels of dredging efficiency and performance, reads the release.

“Our partnership with Royal IHC exemplifies our longstanding commitment to working with the best in the industry to deliver superior vessels to our customers,” said Joey D’Isernia, CEO of Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. “Our extensive experience in building highly mission capable TSHDs (Trailing Suction Hopper Dredgers) in the U.S. positions us well to construct this exceptional vessel for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.”

 The new hopper dredge will enter the Corps’ Ready Reserve Fleet and will play a critical role in the Corps’ navigation mission and provide for safe, reliable, effective, and environmentally sustainable waterborne transportation systems for vital national security, commerce, and recreation needs. 

The vessel will replace the 57-year-old Dredge McFarland based in the Corps’ Philadelphia District. The Dredge McFarland is one of four oceangoing hopper dredges owned and operated by the Corps.

The collaboration between the Corps, and the two companies represents a blend of expertise and innovation with Eastern the most experienced in building high-specification TSHDs in the U.S. complementing Royal IHC’s advanced design capabilities, state-of-the-art dredging equipment, automation, and environmental awareness. 

Vessel specifications are 320-feet long, with a 72-foot beam, a hull depth of 28 feet, a draft of 11-feet 3-inches when the hopper is empty and of 25-feet 6-inches when it is full.

The maximum hopper capacity is 6,000 cubic yards. The maximum dredge depth with suction tube at 45 degrees is 65 feet.

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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