07 September 2017

MARAD Awards $9.8 Million in Grants to Strengthen Small Shipyards  

Announcement Warmly Greeted by Shipbuilders Council of America

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Shipping News Feature US – The Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) has awarded $9.8 million to 18 US small shipyards through its Small Shipyard Grant Program. These investments are designed to support industrial modernisation that will increase productivity and allow the yards to compete more effectively in the global marketplace.

The shipyard facilities vary in size, from family-owned businesses employing a few dozen workers, to multifaceted establishments with hundreds of employees. The grants, which were primarily available to US yards with less than 600 production employees, are generally less than $1 million each, but can make a huge difference in a shipyard’s bottom line. US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said:

“Small shipyards play a significant role in our country’s maritime sector, which contributes to our economy, security, and infrastructure. In addition, these grants will support local communities by creating jobs for working families.”

Since 2008, MARAD’s Small Shipyard Grant Program has awarded $174 million to 169 small shipyards, improving efficiency and boosting productivity with employee training and new technologies. Including direct, indirect, and induced impacts, total economic activity associated with American shipyards is calculated to have supported nearly 400,000 jobs, $25.1 billion of labour income, and $37.3 billion in GDP. Maritime Administrator Mark Buzby commented:

“US shipyards produce some of the world’s best-built vessels. These grants will fund the kinds of upgrades and modernisation that ensure America’s shipbuilding industry remains strong and competitive internationally.”

The announcement of the additional investment was warmly greeted by industry representatives. The Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA) President, Matthew Paxton, was effusive, saying:

“These grants will help build and grow one of America’s most innovative legacy industries.”

A complete list of shipyard grant recipients are:

  • Vigor Alaska of Ketchikan, Alaska – awarded $533,014 to support the purchase of a Robotic Pressure Washer, Milling Machine, Shear, VFD Air Compressor, Air Pallet Load Module, Lathe, Scaffolding & Stair Towers, Electric Capstans, and pneumatic fenders.
  • Bay Maritime Corporation in Alameda, California – awarded $509,718 to support the purchase of a CNC Bed Mill and a CNC Bridge Mill.
  • Thames Shipyard & Repair Company in New London, Connecticut – awarded $191,762 to support the purchase and installation of Confined Space Surface Preparation Equipment.
  • Jeffboat of Jeffersonville, Indiana – awarded $479,150 to support the purchase of an 80-tonne Grove mobile crane.
  • National Maintenance and Repair of Kentucky – awarded $377,433 to support the purchase of a Vantage Oil Country lathe.
  • Gulf Island Shipyards,of Houma, Louisiana – awarded $757,168 to support the purchase of a laser CNC cutting Machine and a CNC pipe bending machine.
  • A&Z Marine of Port Allen, Louisiana – awarded $900,000 to support the purchase a 440-tonne Marine Travelift.
  • Boston Ship Repair in Boston, Massachusetts –  awarded $576,000 to support necessary electrical upgrades.
  • The General Ship Repair Corporation in Baltimore, Maryland – awarded $388,903 to support the purchase of a drydock wash water removal and processing system.
  • Portland Shipyard in Portland, Maine – awarded $990,500 to support the purchase of a 330-tonne Marine Travelift.
  • The Great Lakes Towing Company – awarded $570,065 for capital investment in equipment, tooling and software to improve shipyard efficiency and competitiveness.
  • Philly Shipyard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – awarded $346,544 for modernisation and upgrades to a welding system.
  • Blount Boats in Warren, Rhode Island – awarded $508,927 for metal working equipment, painting enhancements and to purchase a 25-tonne marine transporter.
  • J. Goodison Company in North Kingston, Rhode Island – awarded $635,453 to support the purchase of a wash water collection and treatment system.
  • Detyens Shipyard in North Charleston, South Carolina – awarded $466,985 for a climate controlled down draft paint booth, and steel fabrication equipment.
  • Bludworth Marine in Houston, Texas – awarded $900,000 to build a 3,000-tonne floating drydock.
  • Colonna’s Shipyard in Norfolk, Virginia – awarded $387,500 to support the purchase of a Link-Belt 110-tonne rough terrain crane.
  • Dakota Creek Industries of Anacortes, Washington – awarded $280,878 to support the purchase of a steel frame bending and straightening machine as well as a CNC router table.

PICTURE: The Vigor Alaska shipyard.

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