US shipyards awarded $9.8 million in grants

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration recently awarded $9.8 million through its Small Shipyard Grant Program to 18 small shipyards.

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Funds will modernize and upgrade the shipyards so they can better compete in a global marketplace.

To qualify for the grant, shipyards must employ less than 1,200 workers, and a company can only have one location near a maritime community. They must construct, repair, or reconfigure non-commercial vessels 100 feet in length or longer or commercial or government vessels 40 feet in length or larger.

“Small shipyards play a significant role in our country’s maritime sector, which contributes to our economy, security, and infrastructure,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said. “In addition, these grants will support local communities by creating jobs for working families.”

U.S. shipyards generate $37.3 billion in gross domestic product and $25.1 billion of labor income annually and employ approximately 400,000 people.

Of the 18 chosen, the three largest grants were awarded to shipyards in Maine, Louisiana, and Texas.

Portland Shipyard in Portland, Maine, received $990,500 for the purchase of a 330-ton boat hoist from Marine Travelift.

A & Z Marine in Port Allen, Louisiana, received $900,000 for the purchase a 440-ton boat hoist from Marine Travelift.

Bludworth Marine in Houston, Texas, received $900,000 to construct a 3,000-ton floating dry dock.

The program has awarded $174 million to 169 small shipyards since 2008.