U.S. JOB CREATION
The dredge represents a strategic investment by the Company in providing the most productive, efficient and capable dredging equipment in the domestic industry. Construction of the dredge and scows will create approximately 250 new U.S. shipyard and engineering jobs over the construction period.
SUPPORTING AMERICA’S MARITIME INDUSTRY
Great Lakes has also contracted with BAE Systems in Mobile, Alabama to build two new high-capacity material dump scows that will be delivered in 2013 with an option to build two additional barges also with delivery in 2013. The scows will be used primarily on capital deepening and coastal restoration work on the East and Gulf coasts. These two new scows, with an aggregate cost of approximately $17 million, will each have a carrying capacity of 7,700 cubic yards of dredged material.
Great Lakes is proud to invest in the maritime future of America, constructing these three state-of-the-art “Jones Act” vessels to meet the Country’s growing needs.
NEW FUNDING AHEAD FOR GULF COAST RESTORATION
The recently enacted RESTORE act provides for funding to ensure the important Gulf Coast coastal and barrier island restoration is performed as expeditiously as possible. The Great Lakes dredge will be a key tool in performing the restoration of the eroded land mass in the Gulf Coast States. Additionally, the vessel’s ability to cost-effectively deepen and maintain navigable waterways will bolster the United States’ competitive position in world trade, as the nation’s ports move forward with deepening plans to accommodate the larger vessels, which will sail through the expanded Panama Canal to be completed in 2015.
CONTINUING PROGRESS ON GROWTH INITIATIVES
Great Lakes Chief Executive Officer Jon Berger concluded, “We are very excited about this investment in new equipment. As we analyze the future dredging market, U.S. Shipyard capability and the cost of capital, we feel the time is right for these new builds. In addition, the building of the ATB Hopper Dredge and two scows will add more than 250 jobs in the two shipyards. We were attracted to the favorable construction and operating cost economics of the dredge for the market growth ahead, underscoring our belief in the dredging market and commitment to innovation in our core business. We expect this unique hopper dredge to offer new economics to our customers in the domestic market, and possibly beyond. The investment in the two new high capacity material scows will further ready us for the worldwide market growth ahead. We have invested significant engineering effort into the proprietary, patent pending design of the hopper dredge for the future and believe our customers will be very pleased with the capability we are adding to the market. Great Lakes enjoys a legacy of superior innovation, engineering and execution, and this is a continuation of those attributes and our commitment to the dredging industry.”