Royal IHC has been awarded the contract for the engineering and equipment delivery for a new 6540-cubic metre Trailing Suction Hopper Dredger for Weeks Marine Inc. This is an identical vessel to the Magdalen that was delivered to the design of the Dutch shipbuilder in 2017.

Part of the contract is the supply of key components as well as the provision of several technical services during the construction process. The vessel, which will sail under the name R.B. Weeks, will be built at Eastern Shipbuilding Group’s Allanton Shipyard Panama City, Florida. The new TSHD is designed for beach nourishment and capital dredging works and is highly automated.

In 2016, Weeks ordered the design and engineering for the Magdalen and the supply of key components, such as the principal electrical and dredging systems from IHC, which was also built in the USA at the same shipyard. The repeat order confirms the satisfaction expressed by Weeks about the construction of the Magdalen and its performance. IHC says it is very excited to become the partner of choice in a very challenging but promising market, which has all the signs of picking up momentum.

‘We are excited to be working with Royal IHC again on our sister vessel construction project,’ says Hans B. Blomberg, Weeks’ Technical Manager Hopper Dredgers. ‘IHC’s engineering and hardware supply services will assure that we will once again have a first-class vessel utilising the most modern and innovative technology available on the market.

Key components

Like the Magdalen, the R.B. Weeks will be equipped with IHC-designed and built equipment, including the complete and highly efficient dredging installation, dredging automation and instrumentation, propulsion and main electrical system. The vessel will also have IHC’s dynamic positioning and tracking (DP/DT) system and eco pump controllers, which will both further enhance its efficiency.

IHC will also provide a number of technical services, including the assistance of its qualified engineers for inspection during installation of the delivered equipment at the shipyard, and support during start-up and commissioning of the dredger.

The delivery of the R.B. Weeks is scheduled for early 2023.