President Biden at Philly Shipyard's Steel Cutting Ceremony for GLDD's Ulstein Designed US Built Rock Installation Vessel – Heavy Lift News
21 Jul 2023

President Biden at Philly Shipyard’s Steel Cutting Ceremony for GLDD’s Ulstein Designed US Built Rock Installation Vessel

On 20 July 2023, U.S. President Joe Biden attended the steel-cutting ceremony of the subsea rock installation vessel ‘Acadia’, under construction at Philly Shipyard. Designed by Ulstein Design & Solutions B.V., this will be the first of its kind, U.S.-built, vessel.

In his speech in front of the workers at Philly Shipyard, Mr. Biden said that: “We’re strengthening American shipbuilding, supporting good union jobs and bringing offshore wind supply chains back home.”



The vessel, owned by Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company (GLDD) is critical in building the future of the U.S. offshore wind industry, including establishing a U.S.-based rock supply chain network.

The rock installation vessel will be installing protective layers of rock at offshore wind turbine foundations by means of an inclined fall pipe system. Furthermore, its large and strong aft deck area makes the vessel a highly flexible asset to GLDD, enabling specialised subsea operations.

The SRIV is designed to carry up to 20,000t of rock and will transport and strategically deposit these rocks to the ocean bottom, laying a foundation for the monopiles, which serve as the prevailing support structure for offshore wind turbines. The ship will have an overall length of 140.5m, a breadth of 34.1m, and crew accommodations for 45 people.

“World-renowned engineering firm Ulstein Design and Solutions B.V. was commissioned by us to design the vessel using state-of-the-art technology, equipment and automation”, states Eleni Beyko, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock’s Senior Vice President Offshore Wind. “The design was reviewed and approved by the American Bureau of Shipping (“ABS”) and will be built with best-in-class safety and low emissions standards (LEV, Sustain2).”

In his speech before hundreds of unionized Philly Shipyard workers on July 20, President Joe Biden reaffirmed his longstanding support for the Jones Act by declaring “Not on my watch!” to the idea that foreign-flag vessels would take jobs from American ships and mariners.

He reminded the audience that the shipyard was down to “a handful of workers” a few years ago, but is looking to employ more than 1000 with the construction of the scour vessel and other U.S.-flag ships. Those workers are represented by the Philadelphia Metal Trades Council.

He thanked the union workers and government officials who made temporary repairs to a collapsed freeway bridge along Interstate 95 in Philadelphia in less than 2 weeks, pointing out American ingenuity accomplished a project many said could not happen.

Biden wrapped up with a line he has used throughout his presidency, “It is never a good bet to bet against America.”

The president later signed a sheet of steel that will be used in the vessel.



Feature Title photograph

U.S. President Joe Biden talks to Lasse Johannes Petterson, CEO of Great Lakes Dredge and Dock (GLDD) Steinar Nerbovik, CEO of Philadelphia Shipyard, Inc. (PSI), during a tour of Philly Shipyard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., July 20, 2023.




Source Ulstein Design & Solutions B.V. and  The Maritime Trades Department

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