Weeks Marine, Inc., Houma, LA, has announced the completion of two major investments that will increase the competitiveness and efficiency of the company’s dredging, sediment slurry pumping and placement capability in Coastal Louisiana and around the USA.
Both cutter suction dredge EW Ellefsen and the Weeks 320 Unloader, a hopper barge unloader that pumps material from the barge to the placement area for shoreline protection and wetlands restoration, are newly repowered with cleaner burning engines, high capacity generators, and the latest automation and controls producing more power, more efficiently.
As the federal, state and local governments seek effective solutions to coastal subsidence, sea level rise, flooding, habitat and land loss, the need to build and use the best tools is apparent to Weeks Marine’s owners and management.
“These two major investments are part of WMI’s more than $200 million capital investment program which we announced in 2011,” said Richard S. Weeks, President of Weeks Marine. “As part of our plan for future growth, I feel really good about recapitalizing these two key company assets. Due to the hard work of Louisiana’s elected officials, there is a 50-year plan to restore coastal Louisiana, and, more importantly, there are reliable sources of revenue that make us comfortable investing in South Louisiana’s future.”
“I am proud of the work that the EW Ellefsen has undertaken in Louisiana and on the East Coast since she was acquired in 2007, but am even more excited about her new operating capabilities provided by environmentally superior, GE engines, Caterpillar generators and state-of-the-art automation,” said Executive Vice President Eric Ellefsen. “Today is great day for our Dredging Division and for all of our marine yard port crew here in Houma.”
“We are always seeking to improve our performance,” said Steve Chatry, Senior Vice President and Dredging Division Manager, “and I am pleased that both the EW Ellefsen and the Weeks 320 will be back on the job, more productive than ever in just a few days.”
“I want to thank our outstanding port team here in Houma for getting this work done quickly, on time and on budget,” added Weeks Technical Manager Charlie McCaskill. “Our team enjoys a challenge. These are difficult projects and we always learn something that helps us keep our edge in the marketplace.”
The EW Ellefsen and the Weeks 320 will be put immediately to use to protect Port Fourchon and the ecosystem north of the Caminada Headlands.