Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation (GLDD) is working with Ulstein Group in the Netherlands on the design of what could become the first US-flagged, Jones Act-compliant, inclined fallpipe vessel for subsea rock installation
The company says that if it builds the vessel, it would be a key step in the development of a US rock supply chain network for eastern seaboard states with active offshore wind leases.
Pending a final investment decision, GLDD’s vessel will be US owned, built and operated by American workers.
The vessel is expected to help spur additional job growth and regional economic opportunities associated with a US-based rock supply chain network, with quarries in states along the US east coast.
Although the vessel would initially serve the east coast, GLDD believes it could find use on the Gulf and west coasts as the US offshore wind market grows.
GLDD chief executive and president Lasse Petterson said, “US offshore wind’s potential growth could be a true economic stimulus for America.
“We believe this is the optimal time for us to leverage our specialised vessel expertise to enter this exciting market.
“We are initiating this project because we firmly believe that a Jones Act-compliant subsea rock installation vessel is critical to advance the US offshore wind industry.”
GLDD has engaged Ulstein Design and Solutions in the Netherlands for the vessel’s conceptual and regulatory design.
GLDD plans to design the vessel to meet the highest air-quality controls and to adhere to EPA Tier 4 emissions standards.
Pending federal permitting and regulatory approvals and a final investment decision, the vessel will be operational by Q1 2024, to coincide with major offshore wind project construction timelines.
“We look forward to playing a role in developing this new industry on the eastern seaboard,” said Mr Petterson. “The potential direct, indirect and induced economic benefits of offshore wind development in the US are staggering.”