Seward, Homer receive federal shipyard grants

The funding is aimed at fostering efficiency and economic growth

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration announced that more than $1 million in grants will be awarded to support capital improvements at shipyards in Homer and Seward.

The $1,580,351 is part of a $19.6 million nationwide grant package to support efficiency and competitiveness at local shipyards, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The funding will support employee training and related improvements that foster increased efficiency and economic growth, the release said.

“These grants help create jobs in America’s small shipyards, which play a significant role in our country’s maritime sector,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said.

JAG Alaska, Inc. Seward Shipyard will be awarded $976,298 to improve the shipyard’s water wash-down and recovery system, as well as upgrades for its vessel transport system, the release said.

“These upgrades will allow the facility to increase the utilization of its existing berthing areas and improve its overall efficiency,” the release said.

Northern Enterprises Boat Yard, Inc., in Homer, will receive $604,053 in grants. The funding supports “a new 150-metric ton Travelift, enabling the shipyard to increase its project efficiency, enhance production rates and become more cost-competitive.”

Since 2008, the Maritime Administration’s Small Shipyard Grant Program has awarded more than $226 million through 216 grants that help fund upgrades and expansions leading to more competitive operations, quality ship construction and improved employee skill, the release said.