KETCHIKAN - A new 2,500-ton floating dry-dock will be built by a Chinese firm for the Ketchikan Shipyard.
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The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority and the Penglai Bohai Ship Co. finalized the $9.2 million deal Thursday. The dry-dock is expected to be delivered by the end of July 2007.
"This will provide us with the additional shiplift capacity ... on the dry-docks themselves and, more importantly, it will allow us to transfer ships onto land and ultimately into the covered (shiphaul) facilities," said Randy Johnson, president of Alaska Ship & Drydock, which has operated the Ketchikan Shipyard since 1994.
Located on Bohai Bay in northeast China, Penglai Bohai employees about 1,000 people and draws about 80 percent of its customers from overseas, said Jian Xu. He is general manager of the CS Marine Technology Corp. of China that's assisting Penglai Bohai with the AIDEA contract.
Speaking through Xu, Penglai General Manager Yang Honghao said the dry-dock project has a special meaning to the company because it won a U.S. government project through a bidding process.
"Commercially, it's not a very profitable project," Honghao said. "But practically, it's a very, very important project to the shipyard because it's the first time that the shipyard takes a contract from the U.S. government and also the first time that the shipyard does the project with a U.S. client."
The deal ended a year-long effort to obtain a dry-dock for the Ketchikan Shipyard.
Three rounds of bidding attracted only one North American bidder, from Vancouver, British Columbia.
"We really tried to find somebody in the United States, to bid on this thing within the price range, but we had no luck at all," said Chris Rutz, procurement manager for AIDEA.
Penglai submitted the only bid low enough to keep within the project budget, said Doug Ward, project manager for Alaska Ship & Drydock.
Funding for the project is a combination of state and federal money.