WEEKS MARINE LAUNCHES NEW STATE-OF-THE-ART, OCEAN-GOING HOPPER DREDGE FOR U.S. MARKET
MM&P-contracted Weeks Marine Inc. (WMI) has formally launched the MAGDALEN, a large class, 8,550 cubic yard hopper dredge.
The MAGDALEN will be the company’s third hopper dredge. It will also be its largest, fastest, most fuel efficient, most powerful and most highly automated.
The new vessel, like the other hopper dredges in the company’s fleet, will be crewed by MM&P members.
“MM&P congratulates Weeks Marine on the new hopper dredge,” said MM&P Vice President Great Lakes & Gulf Tom Bell.
“We are looking forward to the continued close relationship with Weeks Marine and the manning of the MAGDALEN with professional MM&P officers and crew members.”
The vessel is now being fitted out and is undergoing sea trials.
The company said in a press release that the MAGDALEN was designed specifically for conditions found offshore of the U.S. coast to meet the unique requirements of the U.S. market.
The MAGDALEN doubles WMI’s current hopper dredge capacity and is the capstone of a multi-year investment initiative by its Dredging Division that exceeds $200 million.
At more than $110 million, the new vessel is the largest single capital investment in the company’s 98-year history.
“With the demand for land reclamation and beach nourishment growing, we believe that better tools are needed to retain our competitive edge,” said WMI President Richard S. Weeks.
“I am exceedingly proud of our team that helped deliver the MAGDALEN to the water and look forward to her christening in the months ahead. She is a very important part of our continued growth as a fully integrated marine construction company.”
With roots in the New York Metropolitan Region, WMI was a regional dredging contractor until 1993 when it purchased American Dredging Company, then America’s third largest dredging company.
With the American Dredging purchase, WMI acquired the RN WEEKS, thus entering the hopper dredging market for the first time.
In early 1998, WMI purchased Gulf Coast Trailing from T.L James & Co., acquiring a second hopper dredge, the BE LINDHOLM.