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Great Lakes Launches Ellis Island, Part of ATB Hopper Dredge

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Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation (GLDD - Free Report) has launched “Ellis Island” -- the barge component of its Articulated Tug & Barge (ATB) hopper dredge, marking a significant milestone in the construction progress of the vessel. The construction of Ellis Island took two years and entailed hundreds of thousands of man hours. The launch is scheduled on Sep 30, 2016 at Eastern Shipbuilding’s shipyard in Allanton, FL.

This ATB hopper dredge that is under construction is a state-of-the-art “Jones Act” vessel designed to meet the nation’s mounting maritime infrastructure needs. This vessel will help contribute to the U.S. economy and the future economic prosperity of the nation. On completion, it will be the largest and most efficient hopper dredge in the U.S. fleet.

The Ellis Island is 433 feet long and 92 feet wide with a hopper volume of 15,000 cubic yards.  Fitted with two 36-inch suction pipes, the barge will have the ability to mine sand from the ocean floor 122 feet below the water’s surface.

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The ATB boasts of unique capabilities such as building coastal protection, restoring barrier islands in the Gulf and deepening the nations’ ports. The tug portion of the vessel, the Douglas Mackie, is slated to launch later this year.  The uniqueness of this vessel goes beyond its sheer size. It will have a hybrid power sharing system between the tug and the barge. The ATB will also be fast due to its proprietary hull design and be able to work in shallow water which will be perfect for beach reclamation projects.

Great Lakes currently has a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

Stocks to Consider

MasTec Inc. (MTZ - Free Report) currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). The company has a positive average earnings surprise of 51.51% over the last four quarters. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Argan, Inc. (AGX - Free Report) and Louisiana-Pacific Corp. (LPX - Free Report) also flaunt a Zacks Rank #1. While Argan generated a positive average earnings surprise of 13.26% over the trailing four quarters, Louisiana-Pacific reported a positive average earnings surprise of 32.16% in the trailing four quarters.

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