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MARAD Selects 27 Small Shipyards to Receive $20M in Grants

MARAD shipyard grants
Southwest Shipyard in Texas received the largest grant to upgrade its blasting and painting equipment (Southwest Shipyard)

Published May 3, 2023 3:47 PM by The Maritime Executive

The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) released the list of shipyards that will receive grants in 2023 under its Small Shipyard Grant Program. The funds are provided in an annual competition designed to help America’s smaller shipyards modernize, increase productivity, and expand local job opportunities while competing in the global marketplace.  

“Small shipyards strengthen America’s commercial fleet, bolster our economic security, and generate good jobs,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “We are proud to support these shipyards and reinforce their vital role in the U.S. maritime sector.” MARAD highlights that the sector employs more than 100,000 people.

The 2023 program is providing a total of $20.8 million in grant awards to 27 small shipyards in 20 states.  It is the fifteenth year of the program, with MARAD reporting the Small Shipyard Grant Program has awarded a total of $303 million to nearly 350 shipyards in 32 states and territories throughout the U.S. since it was begun in 2008. The total funds made available have been consistent in the past few years at around $20 million with the program selecting roughly 15 to 30 applications each year to receive funding.

The Maritime Administration's Small Shipyard Grant Program is designed to support small shipyard projects that make capital and related improvements or provide 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

“As shipbuilding technologies continue to advance, Small Shipyard Grants help America’s shipyards acquire the equipment they need to compete, thrive and expand America’s maritime industry,” remarked Maritime Administrator Ann Phillips. “These grants are also economic boosts to the communities in which shipyards are located as well as to our industrial supply chain.”

The largest individual grant awarded in 2023 is $1.2 million to Southwest Shipyard in Channelview, Texas to upgrade its blasting and painting equipment. Seven other shipyards, including Everett Ship Repair (Washington), Marine Group Boat Works (California), Driscoll Boat Works (California), ACBL Transportation Services (Indiana), Verret Shipyard (Louisiana), Hughes Bros. (New York), and Sterling Shipyard (Texas), are each getting grants of approximately $1 million. These are being used by the yards to purchase new cranes, lifts, or floating dry docks.

Among the other notable awards this year is $916,166 to All American Marine (Washington) to purchase a dual head router and press brake systems. Fincantieri Marine Repair (Florida) receives $874,079 to support the purchase of a water blast and wastewater collection and treatment system.

Awards are also going to shipyards that have begun to receive business related to the emerging offshore wind industry. Senesco Marine (Rhode Island), which won a contract to build crew transfer vessels, receives $738,289 under the MARAD program. Among the equipment they plan to purchase is a sub arc welding system, upgrades to their network servers and software, an All-Terrain Lift, and a compressor.

MARAD began receiving applications in January and closed the window for filling grants at the end of February 2023. The list of all 27 grants being awarded is posted on MARAD’s website.