BAE Systems Southeast Shipyards announced its first contract to build a new ship from scratch at its Mobile River facility.
Weeks Marine Inc. hired BAE to build a 356-foot-long, 79-foot-wide dredging vessel for use in the U.S., according to BAE. The twin screw trailing suction hopper will have a capacity of 8,500 cubic yards.
The contract is worth $85 million, according to BAE.
BAE officials said they will immediately begin engineering work and buying materials. The first steel for the ship will be cut in early 2012, and it will be delivered in January 2014.
The work will require the shipyard to add about 150 employees to its 800-person workforce during the life of the contract, according to Vic Rhoades, the general manager of BAE’s Mobile operation.