Tradepoint Atlantic, a 3,300-acre multimodal global logistics center in Baltimore, Md., said its dry dock will return to service this week after last being used in 2017.
BAE Systems’ Titan dry dock departed is scheduled to arrive in Baltimore and dock at Tradepoint Atlantic’s onsite dry dock to undergo a five-month-long repair and maintenance program starting Thursday.
Used in Norfolk, Va. for servicing ships as long as 1,000 feet, BAE Systems’ massive Titan dry dock has a 52,534-ton lifting capacity and is one of the world’s largest and most modern floating steel dry docks. It measures 950-feet long, 192-feet wide, and 82-feet tall at the highest point. Its docking process at Tradepoint Atlantic is expected to take nearly 20 hours.
For Tradepoint Atlantic, the project ushers in a new era of ship maintenance and repair, and represents a year of work and planning to reopen this legacy industry in Baltimore.
“The shipyard at Sparrows Point has a rich and important history and it is amazing to see industry returning to it after too many dormant years,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “The growth at Tradepoint Atlantic and the opportunities being provided to the local communities is nothing short of incredible and our administration looks forward to partnering with them for years to come. The dry dock is open for business and that is great news.”
The dry dock at Sparrows Point began construction in 1969, and was completed in 1971. It measures 1,200 feet in length, 199 feet in width, with a depth of 28.5 feet and a basin floor elevation of 18’6” below mean low water. Originally built for ship construction, it transitioned to vessel maintenance and repair as the shipbuilding industry in Baltimore began to decline. More recently, in addition to vessel maintenance and repair, it’s been used to construct tunnel sections and other construction industry products. The dry dock was last used in 2017.
“We’ve been a proud partner in Tradepoint Atlantic’s transformative redevelopment into a vibrant hub for global commerce. With the Titan’s arrival, Tradepoint Atlantic continues to open the door to 21st-century economic opportunity while embracing our shipyard’s proud history,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “Together, we continue to celebrate our community’s rich past as we blaze a path towards a stronger future for Sparrows Point —and all of Baltimore County.”
Sparrows Point has a long and proud history of shipbuilding and repair. At its height during World War II, when Bethlehem Steel Co. operated 15 shipyards around the country, Sparrows Point employed thousands of workers dedicated exclusively to shipbuilding. More than 650 ships were built onsite, the last in 1989, when the Navy commissioned the USS Tanner.
“We couldn’t be more excited to bring industry back to the storied Sparrows Point shipyard and once again play a role supporting America’s defense readiness,” said Russell Williams, Director of Business Development at Tradepoint Atlantic. “The arrival of the Titan represents countless new opportunities for Tradepoint Atlantic and sends a strong signal that we are willing and able to capitalize on projects of similar scale and scope. Our dry dock is back in business.”
“Titan is a vital asset to BAE Systems and our efforts to maintain and sustain the Navy fleet in its largest homeport,” said Dave Thomas, Vice President and General Manager of BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair. “Over the next five months, we will carry out extensive preservation work at Sparrow’s Point shipyard to add another 20 to 25 years of service life to our floating dry dock. With a renovated Titan dry dock, we will continue to work efficiently on ships for those who sail across the world to protect all of us.”