Construction starts for first US subsea rock installation vessel

Construction starts for first US subsea rock installation vessel

U.S. dredging services provider Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation has held the steel-cutting ceremony for the construction of what is said to be the first U.S. offshore wind subsea rock placement vessel.

Source: Philly Shipyard

The ceremony marking the start of construction for the Acadia vessel was held on 20 July at Philly Shipyard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The basic design is by Ulstein and the vessel is designed to carry up to 20,000 MT of rock. It will have an overall length of 140.5 meters, a breadth of 34.1 meters, and crew accommodations for 45 people.

The event was attended by U.S. President Joe Biden, as well as Great Lakes’ President and CEO Lasse Petterson and Philadelphia Shipyard’s President and CEO Steinar Nerbøvik, in addition to offshore wind developers, union representatives, industry manufacturers, vessel owners, contractors and aligned vendors.

Acadia is said to represent Great Lakes’ entry into the U.S. offshore wind market.

According to Petterson, the vessel will provide employment for U.S. union crews including at the steel mills producing the steel for the vessel, at the quarries producing the rock, at the ports and facilities loading the vessel, and the marine crews operating it.

“We are pleased to be partnering with Philly Shipyard and look forward to continuing our collaborative working relationship during the construction of this first U.S. rock installation vessel,” said Petterson.

“We are pleased to get construction started as Great Lakes has already won contracts for this Jones Act compliant vessel. With our investment into offshore wind, we are also helping achieve the administration’s goal of creating American jobs in this new power generation market.”

In 2021, the Biden Administration announced the goal of having 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030 and provided $3 billion in federal loan guarantees for offshore wind projects.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in March released its Offshore Wind Energy Strategy, a first-of-its-kind, comprehensive summary of the Department’s efforts to meet the aforementioned goal and set the nation on a pathway to 110 GW or more by 2050.