MARAD Awards $20M in Grants to Small Shipyards for Modernization

MARAD small shipyard modernization grants
Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding is one of the yards receiving grants from MARAD to support modernization and increased productivity (file photo)

Published Jul 21, 2022 6:28 PM by The Maritime Executive

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration has selected the 2022 recipients for MARAD’s annual Small Shipyard Grant Program designed to support smaller American shipyards. Once again this year MARAD is providing a total of $19.6 million in grants going to 24 small shipyards in 19 states to assist with the modernization, increased productivity, and expanded local employment opportunities from these shipyards.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of the American economy, and small shipyards play a critical role in America’s maritime industry, helping us get the goods we depend on every day,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “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.”

The largest grants included in the 2022 awards are each over $1 million going to four shipyards in Maryland, Mississippi, Washington state, and Wisconsin. The two largest grants at approximately $1.2 million were awarded to Nichols Brothers Boat Builders of Freeland, WA to support the purchase and installation of a one-sided welder to include a material handling conveyor system, transitional magnetic bed, and Fincantieri Marine Group Bay Shipbuilding of Sturgeon Bay, WI, to support the modernization of their graving dock pumps.

The other largest grants were awarded to ST Engineering Halter Marine and Offshore, of Pascagoula, MS, to support the purchase of an Electric "Green" Blast and Paint Booth Project and Chesapeake Shipbuilding, Corp., of Salisbury, MD, to support the purchase of a Plasma Table, 30-ton mobile travelift crane, 250-ton automated tooling computer numerical control (CNC), and a 14-foot CNC press brake.

Smaller awards ranging between $300,000 and just under $1 million went to a total of 19 shipyards. Most of the funds are used to buy new equipment or to upgrade the yard’s capabilities. A full list of all the grants is online at Marad.

To be eligible for the grants, the shipyards must be making capital and related improvements or providing training for workers in shipbuilding, ship repair, and associated industries. Grants are capped at 75 percent of the project's estimated cost and are available to facilities with fewer than 1,200 production employees.

Since 2008, MARAD’s Small Shipyard Grant Program has awarded a total of $282.2 million to nearly 300 shipyards in 32 states and territories throughout the U.S. MARAD notes the importance of the program highlighting that this segment of the industry directly employs more than 100,000 people. Many small shipyards are family-run businesses providing important services to the American maritime sector.