Alaska Ship & Drydock, Inc. has received more than $1 million as part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration Small Shipyard Grants Program. The program is to stimulate productivity and encourage modernization to make small shipyards more competitive in the global market place.
“These grants will help improve our ability to build and repair ships in the United States, strengthening our economy and helping position these small businesses and shipyard workers to be better prepared to win the future,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood stated in a release.
The Alaska funds will go to the Ketchikan Shipyard for a single side welder, a material handling system and a CNC cutting system.
Ketchikan Shipyard Development Director Doug Ward said the new equipment will work in connection with the ongoing projects. A current one is the construction of a $41 million large ship assembly hall to aid in building ships. Ward said he will also will put a bid in to build an Alaska-class ferry for the Alaska Marine Highway System.
“It’s all about building ships in Alaska,” said Ward.
He said the Ketchikan Shipyard has built four complete ships since 2000. He said anywhere between 20 and 30 ships are worked on or repaired there annually.
Alaska Ship & Drydock was one of 13 small shipyards around the country receiving a total of $9.98 million. The U.S. Maritime Administration reports it received more than 118 applications requesting $105 million in assistance.
“This money will help train workers and buy new tools and equipment,” U.S. Maritime Administrator David Matsuda said in the release. “Having these essential needs taken care of will help these small shipyards be more productive, efficient, and able to sustain good jobs for American workers well into the future.”
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