Progressive and innovative Quebec City based Groupe Ocean has won an important dredging contract from the government, to dredge the St Lawrence River, and maintain parts of its navigational channels.
Dragage St Maurice, a division of Groupe Ocean, won the $30 million dollar contract, which will see two sections of the St Lawrence being cleared of an estimated 70,000 tons of silts annually, from around Ile D'Orleans, just downstream from Quebec, and around Becancourt further upriver. Over 6000 ship movements occur in this area of the St Lawrence every year. This 30 kilometer section of the river represent some of the most challenging navigational conditions due to high wind, tides and strong currents.
A new, 70 meter long trailing suction dredge, similar to the one pictured above, will be built at Isle aux Coudres, at Groupe Ocean's own shipyard, a drive about two hours east of Quebec City. It will be the largest dredge in Eastern Canada and should be ready for service in early 2012. That yard has been very busy over the last few years, delivering a slew of Robert Allan designed ship berthing / icebreaking tugs to Groupe Ocean's operations, principally in Montreal and Quebec.
Along with the newest Canadian tug fleet serving just about all major ports, from Hamilton / Toronto all the way down the St Lawrence, Ocean is a also an extensive provider of marine services in transhipment in the arctic and other isolated areas. They have also recently built a modern machine shop / repair facility in Quebec City, and offer numerous ship repairs services. All in all, a very active and modern company, who does not seem to shy away from investing in modern equipment and facilities, giving its people the tools they need. Good on them.