Friday, March 30, 2012

Small Shipyard Grants Awarded

The US Dept. of Transportation has announced nearly $10 million in grants to 15 small shipyards throughout the United States, including four on the West Coast, to pay for modernizations that increase productivity and help small shipyards compete in the global marketplace.

The funds were allocated as part of the US Maritime Administration’s Small Shipyard Grants Program. The grants fund a variety of projects, including infrastructure improvements and equipment modernization to increase the efficiency, competitive operations and quality of vessel construction in US shipyards.

“These small shipyard grants reflect the … commitment to strengthening our transportation systems and creating an economy that’s built to last,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in announcing the grants.

Of the $9.98 million issued, almost $2 million was allocated to West Coast shipyards. The West Coast grantees are:
  • Seattle-based Kvichak Marine Industries, which says it will use a $987,307 grant to buy a water-jet cutting table to cut and bevel ferrous and non-ferrous plates; a hydraulic swing beam shear for accurate cutting in place of skill saws; and welding equipment. The grant will also fund a boatbuilding skills training program.
  • Foss Maritime Co.’s Seattle Shipyard, which received $578,402 to buy two 45-foot manlifts; a dust collection system to allow the yard to blast and paint without contaminating the atmosphere; a three-ton forklift; and shelters for additional work overflow.
  • Honolulu-based Navatek Ship Construction, whose $248,805 grant goes toward buying wind turbines and towers to provide clean renewable electrical service to the shipyard.
  • Sitka, Alaska-based Allen Marine, which says it will use its $163,500 grant to buy a welding fume and particulate extraction system it needs to meet Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirements for its aluminum welding operations.

“They will provide new tools and equipment to help maritime businesses sustain and create good American jobs through increased productivity and efficiency,” US Maritime Administrator David Matsuda said of the grants in a news release. “These federal investments will fund shipyard essentials.”