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Wepfer Marine Inc. Shifts Memphis Location, Gets COI

Since 1972, the year it was founded, Wepfer Marine Inc. has been a mainstay of the Memphis riverfront. It operates harbor and fleeting services along the Lower Mississippi River, and has a full-service shipyard in Memphis with drydocks, machine shop, marine repairs and barge cleaning services. It also operates Okie Moore Diving & Marine Salvage, based out of St. Louis.

Now the Memphis yard is shifting its location on the waterfront. The move is required because a recent tenant of President’s Island, NouriTech, is laying an un-odorized gas pipeline under the company’s current location.

NouriTech is a joint venture between Cargill and a California company, Calysta, that is spending $120 million to turn a disused corn mill into a state-of-the-art facility for producing fish feed. In December 2017, the company began demolishing structures and preparing the 37-acre site. A spokesman for NouriTech told Memphis media that civil preparation for phase 1 of the plant would take place this fall and that product will start being produced by June 2020. Once fully up and running, the NouriTech facility will produce up to 200,000 metric tons of its trademarked fish feed called FeedKind in 20 separate fermenters.

Wepfer is treating the move as an opportunity. The new location, on a 3-acre parcel, is about ¾ of a mile from the current one. “Our new location will have room for a [new] building, so we can move our machine shop to the same location as our drydocks,” said Walt Wepfer, a manager at Wepfer Marine.

Besides announcing the move, Wepfer Marine said it is proud that a Wepfer boat, the mv. Larry Barber, was the first boat in Sector Lower Mississippi to receive a certificate of inspection (COI) under the Subchapter M inspection regime.

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