MarAd Announces 2022 Small Shipyard Grant Recipients
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MarAd) has announced it has awarded $19.6 million as part of the Small Shipyard Grant Program to 24 shipyards in 19 states.
The program aims to help small shipyards make capital improvements or provide training for workers in order to boost efficiency, competitive operations and quality ship construction and repair. Through the Small Shipyard Grant Program, the Maritime Administration provides up to 75 percent of a project’s estimated cost to shipyards with fewer than 1,200 production employees.
Of the 24 grants awarded, six went to facilities on the Western Rivers or the Gulf Coast:
• Patti Marine Enterprises Inc., a Pensacola, Fla.-based shipyard that builds and repairs towboats, tugboats, trawlers and other vessels, was awarded $1.2 million for the construction of a new 800-ton dry dock.
• Mobile, Ala.-based Blakely Boatworks Inc. was awarded $722,460 to support the purchase of welding machines and material-handling equipment. The shipyard is located on 26 acres alongside the Mobile River and is part of the Cooper Group of companies.
• ST Engineering Halter Marine and Offshore Inc. (STEHMO) in Pascagoula, Miss., will receive more than $1.1 million to go toward the purchase and construction of an electric “green” blast and paint booth. STEHMO provides drydocking, repair, conversion, major fabrication and new construction for ships, rigs and other vessels at work in the Gulf Coast region.
• Turn Services LLC, a New Orleans-based towing company that offers fleeting and shifting services, along with barge cleaning and repair and vessel services, was awarded $988,742 to support the addition of a 60-ton pedestal crane at the company’s Myrtle Grove, La., location.
“Our Myrtle Grove location is the only repair operation in the area for barge line customers that move cargo such as grain to and from deep-draft ships and facilities,” said Mario Muñoz, president of Turn Services. “We will use the grant funds for a barge-mounted 60-ton pedestal crane, which has double the length of boom of our existing crane. The increase in the outreach of the new crane will increase our efficiency of barge repair operations by eliminating the downtime of the repair crew and reducing the delay in reloading customers’ barges with cargo.”
• Caruthersville, Mo.-based Arcosa Marine Products Inc. was awarded an $869,951 grant for making panel line improvements and purchasing new welding equipment. Arcosa Marine Products focused on the manufacture of dry cargo barges, tank barges and fiberglass hopper barge covers.
• McGinnis Inc. of South Point, Ohio, part of McNational Inc., was awarded $770,250 to support the purchase of a 110-ton crane to “shorten the time it takes to complete major construction, renovation, fabrication or repower projects and improve material handling capabilities.” McGinnis operates a pair of facilities in South Point near where the Big Sandy River enters the Ohio River.
For the full list of Small Shipyard Grant Program award recipients, including those from the East Coast, West Coast and Great Lakes regions, go to maritime.dot.gov and look for the “Grants” tab.
“Small shipyards continue to grind it out every day to keep our maritime industry afloat,” said Dave Matsuda, principal at Matsuda & Associates LLC and leader of the Small Shipyard Grant Coalition. “They weather boom-bust market cycles, struggle to attract a new generation of workers, and continually work to adapt to newer technologies and regulatory requirements. The breadth of projects funded by MarAd this year demonstrates the continuing and dire need for these funds. Without competitive shipyard services, the repercussions will be felt throughout the maritime industry.”
The groundwork is already being laid for the next round of the Small Shipyard Grant Program, with the fiscal year 2023 president’s budget including $20 million for the program.