PANAMA CITY, FL – Eastern Shipbuilding Group has been contracted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to design and construct a new medium-class hopper dredge (MCHD) for the Department of Defense and formally received the notice to proceed. The dredge will be constructed at Eastern’s Allanton and Port St. Joe facilities and is scheduled for delivery in 2027.
“On behalf of the highly skilled workforce at Eastern, I thank the Army Corps for entrusting us with this historic hopper dredge project that will serve an indispensable role in our national maritime priorities,” said Joey D’Isernia, CEO, Eastern Shipbuilding Group. “Eastern is the only U.S. shipyard to have delivered comparable dredges in the past 15 years. We look forward to a strong partnership with USACE as we deliver this significant project on their behalf.”
The new hopper dredge will enter the USACE’s 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 USACE.
Eastern has a successful track record building large and complex hopper dredges for commercial customers. Recent hopper dredge deliveries include the ATB TSHD DOUGLAS B. MACKIE/ELLIS ISLAND delivered in 2017, TSHD MAGDALEN delivered in 2017, and the TSHD R.B. WEEKS delivered in 2023. Eastern has again teamed with Royal IHC, a world-renowned designer and builder of dredging vessels and equipment. Royal IHC has designed a tailor-made state-of-the-art diesel-electric hopper dredge to precisely meet USACE requirements. The design is the result of knowledge built over years of designing and building similar TSHDs. The hullform, based on Royal IHC’s proven Beagle TSHD-series, provides the best balance of proven carrying capacity, dredging performance, seakeeping, and open water transit operations as well as highly predictable operating characteristics.
Hull Depth: 28’
Draft (hopper empty): 11’3”
Draft (hopper full): 25’6”
Maximum Hopper Capacity: 6000 yd3
Maximum Dredging Depth: 65’
Renderings of the MCHD courtesy of Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. are available here.
About Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc.
Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. (ESG) is an American owned and operated shipbuilder with three shipyards on the Florida Gulf Coast. They build world class vessels for national defense and commercial clients, including the U.S. Coast Guard’s Heritage Class Offshore Patrol Cutters and the U.S. Army Corps’ new MCHD. ESG is the largest private sector employer in Northwest Florida and is a 2017 recipient of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Small Business of the Year award. With a portfolio of over 350 vessels and Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) and Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) certified systems, ESG is known as one of the most diverse vessel construction companies in the country. www.easternshipbuilding.com
About Royal IHC
Royal IHC is determined to play a leading role in making the maritime industry more efficient and sustainable.
Anchored in the rich Dutch maritime history, Royal IHC continues to expand its position as a leading supplier of maritime technology and craftsmanship. With the right expertise on board and driven by innovation, Royal IHC offers a clear competitive advantage to its global customers in the dredging, offshore, mining and defence industries.
With its equipment, vessels and services, Royal IHC provides reliable, integrated solutions to increase customers’ operational efficiency and enable more sustainable solutions. In an ever-changing world, our goal remains to find the smartest and safest way forward for both our customers and Royal IHC employees.