- Represents critical step forward for US renewables and offshore wind industry
- State-of-the-art vessel designed in cooperation with Ulstein
- First step in establishing US – based rock supply chain for the offshore wind industry
- Vessel to be built by US shipyard and expected to be operational as early as Q1 2024
HOUSTON – [Dec. 3, 2020] – Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation (NASDAQ: GLDD) announced today the company is moving forward with the design and development of the first U.S.-flagged Jones Act compliant, inclined fallpipe vessel for subsea rock installation. The vessel represents a critical advancement in building the future of the new U.S. offshore wind industry, including establishing a U.S.-based rock supply chain network spanning eastern seaboard states with active offshore wind leases.
Pending business conditions and a final investment decision, GLDD’s vessel will be U.S. owned, built and operated by American workers. The vessel is expected to help spur additional job growth and regional economic opportunities corresponding with the establishment of a U.S.-based rock supply chain network for subsea rock installation, with quarries in states along the East Coast. Further, the project should generate additional economic and job opportunities on the Gulf Coast, where the vessel will be built. While the vessel initially would serve the East Coast, GLDD believes it will be available as offshore wind projects develop along the Gulf and West Coasts.
“U.S. offshore wind’s potential growth could be a true economic stimulus for America. We believe this is the optimal time for us to leverage our extensive specialized vessel expertise to enter this exciting market now coming to the United States,” said Lasse Petterson, GLDD’s chief executive officer and president. “We are initiating this project because we firmly believe that a Jones Act compliant offshore wind subsea rock installation vessel is a critical foundational piece required to advance the U.S. offshore wind energy industry. We are committed to safe and sustainable operations and excited to make history with this landmark vessel.”
GLDD has engaged world-renowned engineering firm Ulstein Design and Solutions B.V. for the vessel’s conceptual and regulatory design engineering. GLDD plans to design the vessel to state-of-the-art specifications and build the vessel with the highest maritime standards, including best-in-class air-quality controls to adhere to EPA Tier 4 emissions standards. Pending federal permitting and regulatory approvals as well as a final investment decision, the vessel will be operational as early as Q1 2024, to coincide with major offshore wind project construction timelines.
As the leading U.S. dredging company and with 130+ years’ experience and expertise in dredging, marine engineering, specialized vessel design and safe offshore operations, GLDD believes its move into the offshore wind energy industry is a natural business progression. GLDD brings best practices to all the projects it undertakes, including employing among the industry’s highest safety standards and quality controls protocols.
“We applaud GLDD’s foresight and decisive action in entering this potentially transformative new industry in its early days. Their new vessel will complete another major piece of the offshore wind industry puzzle,” said Liz Burdock, CEO of the Business Network for Offshore Wind. “This milestone brings our nation one step closer to realizing the substantial benefits from clean energy including the economic growth from projects, supply chain development, and job creation.”
“We look forward to playing a key role in developing this new industry on the eastern seaboard that will provide multidimensional benefits to our nation,” concluded Petterson. “The full potential direct, indirect and induced economic benefits of offshore wind development have yet to be calculated because the various aspects and value of the supply chain are still unknown and yet to be developed. The potential impacts are staggering.”
The Jones Act is a federal law that regulates maritime commerce in the United States and requires goods shipped between U.S. ports to be transported on ships that are built, owned and operated by U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
About Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation
Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation (Great Lakes) is the largest provider of dredging services in the United States. In addition, Great Lakes has a long history of performing significant international projects. Great Lakes employs experienced civil, ocean and mechanical engineering staff in its estimating, production, and project management functions. In its over 130-year history, Great Lakes has never failed to complete a marine project. Great Lakes owns and operates the largest and most diverse fleet in the U.S. dredging industry, comprised of over 200 specialized vessels. Great Lakes has a disciplined training program for engineers that ensures experienced-based performance as they advance through company operations. Great Lakes’ Incident-and Injury-Free® (IIF®) safety management program is integrated into all aspects of the company’s culture. Great Lakes’ commitment to the IIF® culture promotes a work environment where employee safety is paramount.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements in this press release may constitute “forward-looking” statements as defined in Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”), the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the “PSLRA”) or in releases made by the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), all as may be amended from time to time. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that could cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Great Lakes and its subsidiaries, or industry results, to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Statements that are not historical fact are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements can be identified by, among other things, the use of forward-looking language, such as the words “plan,” “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “estimate,” “project,” “may,” “would,” “could,” “should,” “seeks,” “are optimistic,” or “scheduled to,” or other similar words, or the negative of these terms or other variations of these terms or comparable language, or by discussion of strategy or intentions. These cautionary statements are being made pursuant to the Exchange Act and the PSLRA with the intention of obtaining the benefits of the “safe harbor” provisions of such laws. Great Lakes cautions investors that any forward-looking statements made by Great Lakes are not guarantees or indicative of future performance. Important assumptions and other important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those forward-looking statements with respect to Great Lakes, include, but are not limited to: impacts resulting from or attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic, our ability to obtain federal government dredging and other contracts; uncertainties in federal government budgeting; extended federal government shutdowns, which may lead to funding issues, the incurrence of costs without payment or reimbursement under our contracts, and delays or cancellations of key projects; the risk that the President of the United States may divert funds away from the Army Corps of Engineers in response to a national emergency; our ability to qualify as an eligible bidder under government contract criteria and to compete successfully against other qualified bidders; risks associated with cost over-runs, operating cost inflation and potential claims for liquidated damages, particularly with respect to our fixed cost contracts; the timing of our performance on contracts; significant liabilities that could be imposed were we to fail to comply with government contracting regulations; risks related to international dredging operations, including instability and declining relationships amongst certain governments in the Middle East and the impact this may have on infrastructure investment, asset value of such operations, and local licensing, permitting and royalty issues; increased cost of certain material used in our operations due to newly imposed tariffs; a significant negative change to large, single customer contracts from which a significant portion of our international revenue is derived; changes in previous-recorded net revenue and profit as a result of the significant estimates made in connection with our methods of accounting for recognizing revenue; consequences of any lapse in disclosure controls and procedures or internal control over financial reporting; changes in the amount of our estimated backlog; our ability to obtain bonding or letters of credit and risks associated with draws by the surety on outstanding bonds or calls by the beneficiary on outstanding letters of credit; increasing costs to operate and maintain aging vessels; equipment or mechanical failures; acquisition integration and consolidation risks; liabilities related to our historical demolition business; impacts of legal and regulatory proceedings; unforeseen delays and cost overruns related to the construction of new vessels, including potential mechanical and engineering issues; our becoming liable for the obligations of joint ventures, partners and subcontractors; capital and operational costs due to environmental regulations; unionized labor force work stoppages; maintaining an adequate level of insurance coverage; information technology security breaches; our substantial amount of indebtedness; restrictions imposed by financing covenants; the impact of adverse capital and credit market conditions; limitations on our hedging strategy imposed by statutory and regulatory requirements for derivative transactions; foreign exchange risks; changes in macroeconomic indicators and the overall business climate; and losses attributable to our investments in privately financed projects. For additional information on these and other risks and uncertainties, please see Item 1A. “Risk Factors” of Great Lakes’ Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, Item 1A. “Risk Factors” of Great Lakes’ Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2020 and June 30, 2020, in Item 1A.”Risk Factors” of this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q and in other securities filings by Great Lakes with the SEC.
Although Great Lakes believes that its plans, intentions and expectations reflected in or suggested by such forward-looking statements are reasonable, actual results could differ materially from a projection or assumption in any forward-looking statements. Great Lakes’ future financial condition and results of operations, as well as any forward-looking statements, are subject to change and inherent risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made only as of the date hereof and Great Lakes does not have or undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, subsequent events or otherwise, unless otherwise required by law.
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