MarAd Announces Small Shipyard Grants Totaling $19.6 Million

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MarAd) has announced the latest round of grant awards through its Small Shipyard Grant Program. MarAd awarded $19.6 million in grants to 31 small shipyards across 15 states. 

“Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, and small shipyards play a critical role in America’s maritime industry,” U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said in a statement dated April 26. “These grants go directly to small shipyards across the country and will help protect and create local jobs, strengthen America’s maritime industry and bolster our economic security.”

Of the 31 grants awarded, nine went to shipyards in the Gulf Coast region, with shipyards in the Pacific Northwest following with six awards, followed by five shipyards in the Northeast. The largest grant, nearly $1.4 million, went to Stevens Towing Company Inc. of Yonges Island, S.C., to assist with purchasing an 820-metric-ton travelift to work in the company’s “new zero-emissions North Yard,” according to MarAd. The smallest award, $126,105 to Omega Shipyard Inc., in Moss Point, Miss., near Pascagoula, will support the purchase of a telescoping forklift and a blasting pot.

Other inland waterway-connected grant recipients include the following:

In Alabama, Master Boat Builders Inc., located in Coden, was awarded just under $500,000 to assist in the purchase of two 30-ton mobile cranes and two extendable boom forklifts; and Steiner Shipbuilding Inc., of Bayou La Batre, will receive $419,507 to assist with the purchase of a 60-foot manlift, two telehandler forklifts, a warehouse forklift, an iron worker and a 300-ton press brake. 

In Florida, Eastern Shipbuilding Group, located in Panama City, will receive $522,318 for the purchase of equipment to boost efficiencies at the yard. Near Jacksonville, on the St. Johns River, St. Johns Boat Company will receive $221,175 for the acquisition and installation of a hybrid blast and paint building manlift, while St. Johns Ship Building Inc. will receive $1.3 million to support the construction of a 2,000-ton drydock.

In Louisiana, Bollinger Marine Fabricators of Amelia will receive $1.1 million to assist in the purchase of a black and paint plate preservation line machine; C&C Marine & Repair will receive close to $750,000 to assist in upgrading the yard’s panel line seam welding and dart welding machines, along with the purchase of a new 18-ton forklift; Conrad Shipyard’s Amelia facility will receive $432,376 for the purchase of two portable shelters for a fabrication area and a blast and paint area; and Gulf Island Shipyards of Houma will receive $312,802 for the addition of an automated pipe spool welding to its fab shop.

In Texas, Port Arthur-based Vessel Repair will receive $588,812 to assist in the purchase of a 110-ton crawler crane.

“These grants will help small businesses do what they do best: build essential infrastructure while creating long-term jobs for American workers,” said Lucinda Lessley, acting maritime administrator. “Better equipment means increased productivity and more ships moving through our small shipyards—and more ships mean more local jobs.”

Since its initial year in 2008, the Small Shipyard Grant Program has awarded more than $262 million to almost 300 shipyards in 32 states and territories. The Maritime Administration defines a “small shipyard” as one with fewer than 1,200 production employees. Grant awards can fund up to 75 percent of a project. Eligible projects include capital and related improvements and training programs.