Vigor Industrial has entered an agreement with Daoda Marine Heavy Industry Co. (DDHI) to buy a new floating drydock for $40 million.
At 960 feet long, with an inside width of 186 feet and a lifting capacity of 80,000 long tons, it will be the largest floating drydock in the United States.
“We decided now is the time to buy because demand to service large vessels is growing and large drydock capacity in proximity to the U.S. West Coast has diminished,” said Vigor Industrial Chief Executive Officer Frank Foti in a statement. Vigor has operations in Oregon, Washington and Alaska.
DDHI will build the drydock at its facility in Jiangsu Provence, China, for delivery by March 2014. It will be towed to Portland in three pieces for assembly, and its first job will likely be to prepare Vigor’s largest Portland-based drydock for use at Vigor’s Seattle facility. This would provide the Seattle shipyard with a new capacity to service Panamax-sized vessels.
The new drydock will be 300 feet longer than the largest drydock Vigor currently owns. It will be one and half times wider and will be able to lift more than triple the weight. This new capacity will allow Vigor to service the incoming generation of the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command dry cargo/ammunition ships, which are replacing some smaller MSC ammunition, combat stores and fuel ships.
The drydock will be large enough to service private vessels, including post-Panamax cargo ships and cruise ships. The increased capacity will also help Vigor meet growing demand from the Arctic as oil and gas exploration and other ship operators take advantage of longer ice-free summers.