Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Vigor to Build Ferries for Alaska

By Mark Edward Nero

Vigor Industrial has reached an agreement with the State of Alaska to build two Alaska-class ferries at Vigor Alaska in Ketchikan, state Gov. Sean Parnell said Sept. 20.

The vessels will be the first Alaska Marine Highway System ferries built in Alaska, Parnell said during the announcement, which was made at a community event held by Vigor Alaska at the Ketchikan Shipyard.

The ferries will be 280 feet long, seat up to 300 passengers and carry 53 standard vehicles. Each ferry is to feature bow and stern doors for quicker loading and unloading, fully enclosed car decks and controllable pitch propellers to maximize maneuverability and efficiency. Also, a modified hull design is expected to improve traveler comfort during rough weather.

The vessels will be the largest ships ever built in Alaska, according to the governor.

“Building these ferries in state will be a major boost for Alaska’s economy,” Parnell said. “This has been our intent during the entire process and will help create hundreds of new year-round jobs at the Ketchikan Shipyard, while helping Ketchikan develop a highly capable workforce, not only for the growing marine economy of southeast Alaska.”

The construction contract and costs to build both ferries in Ketchikan is budgeted at $120 million.
The vessels are scheduled for delivery in 2018.