Port of Portland Dredge Oregon Repower

  • Client:
    Port of Portland
  • Completion Date:
  • Project Type:
    Vessel Design & Modification, Special Purpose Vessels
  • Service Categories:
    Naval Architecture
    Marine Engineering
    Owner Services & Onsite Support
  • Vessel Overview:
    Cutter suction dredge for maintaining the Columbia River navigation channel
  • Challenge:
    Modernize equipment and reduce emissions of a hardworking vintage vessel.

Repower to Reduce Emissions.

The Port of Portland Navigation Division owns and operates the cutter suction dredge Oregon that works between Astoria and Portland to ensure a safe and operable transit route for ships. Dredging operations run around the clock, typically for seven months of the year. The Oregon was using about 4,200 gallons of diesel fuel per day to dredge about 2,000 – 3,000 cubic yards of material per hour. With its 1960s-era engine, the Oregon was the Port’s single largest source of diesel particulate emissions and a significant source of carbon dioxide. Considering the Port’s goal of reducing the carbon emissions of all its operations and the costs of maintaining and operating this vintage engine, in 2010 the Port hired Glosten to develop a comprehensive design package for repowering and refitting the dredge with modern equipment.



Glosten developed the detail design for the dredge’s mechanical and electrical repower, including replacement of the vessel’s two diesel generator sets, cutterhead motor and reduction gear, and ships service electrical distribution system. Determining and selecting the engine/gear configuration to provide the necessary power and torque throughout the operating range was a particular challenge.

The Oregon’s repower work was completed in 2014. Due to the Port’s active dredging schedule, the repower and refit work were completed over two winter out-of-service shipyard periods between Fall 2012 and Spring 2014, with a successful dredging season in between. During the construction phase, Glosten provided construction support including on-site review and verifications of installations and engineering support for emergent work items.

The refurbished dredge can now perform its primary dredging duties in almost any weather condition and river stage. The Oregon also burns significantly less fuel, which has reduced its diesel particulate emissions by 88 percent.

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    Dredge Oregon Team