Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bellingham Shipyard, Others, Benefit from MARAD Grants

The Fairhaven Shipyard located at the Washington state Port of Bellingham has been awarded $1.3 million in federal grant money that is scheduled to be used to improve the yard's floating drydock.

Fairhaven, owned by Puglia Engineering, plans to use the funds to outfit the firm's Faithful Servant drydock with an 80-ton crane and coating equipment, according to the firm's grant request.

The Fairhaven award is part of $14.7 million in grant awards announced Monday by the US Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration to help improve 17 small shipyards in 16 states.

“These grants will help modernize small shipyards and strengthen our economy by making sure we maintain the ability to build and repair ships in the United States,” said US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in announcing the awards.

Other West Coast ports benefiting from the grants include: Kapolei, Hawaii where ship maintenance and repair firm Marisco, Ltd. was awarded just over $1 million for cranes, forklifts, welding machines, compressors and dust collector equipment; Coos Bay, Oregon where Sause Bros. subsidiary tug and barge shipbuilder Southern Oregon Marine, Inc. was awarded $173,749 for a water blast system, sandblasting equipment and big top shelter; and, Seattle, Washington, where Pacific Fishermen Shipyard and Electric LLC was awarded $643,095 for a worker training program, sand blast and paint booths, sand blast grit recovery systems, man lifts and a 15-ton crane.

“Small shipyards are an important part of our nation’s shipbuilding industry,” said David Matsuda, Acting Maritime Administration Administrator. “Shipyards on both coasts, the Great Lakes and our inland waterways will be able to increase productivity and be more competitive as a result of these grants.”

The grants, part of the Assistance to Small Shipyards program, were available to shipyards around the country that provide essential services to commercial and government ships. MARAD received over 160 grant applications requesting $180 million in assistance.