The US Transport Department’s Maritime Administration, or MARAD, has dished out grants worth US$19.6 million to help small shipyards in the US invest in infrastructure, equipment and boost productivity.
The funds, drawn from the Small Shipyard Grant Programme and allocated to 24 shipyards across 19 states, will also help expand employment opportunities and strengthen the domestic maritime industry, MARAD said. According to the administration, more than 100,000 people are employed in small US shipyards.
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of the US economy, and small shipyards play a critical role in America’s maritime industry, helping us get the goods we depend on every day,” Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement. “These grants will help modernize small shipyards in communities across the country, creating and protecting local jobs, strengthening America’s maritime industry and securing our economic future.”
Among the beneficiaries are Bay Marine Boatworks in Richmond, California, awarded US$875,968 to support the acquisition of a 100-tonne marine travel lift and a 60-tonne self-propelled vessel transporter.
In Newport, Virginia, Fairlead Boatworks was allocated US$900,000 to help it acquire a new 160-tonne rough terrain crane, while in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, Fincantieri Marine Group will receive US$1.2 million to support the modernization of a 1970s-era graving dock pump system at its Bay Shipbuilding facility.
Since 2008, MARAD’s Small Shipyard Grant Programme has awarded more than US$282 million to nearly 300 shipyards across 32 states and territories in the US.
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