December 18, 2017
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Feds to invest nearly $1M in Portland shipyard upgrade

By AP
AARON P. BERNSTEIN | REUTERS | BDN
AARON P. BERNSTEIN | REUTERS | BDN
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao testifies before a Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., June 7, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

Portland Shipyard will receive nearly $1 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation to replace an aging boat lift.

Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree says the federal small shipyard grant will help alleviate problems the shipyard has had serving Casco Bay’s commercial fleet. She says the Portland area’s economy relies on having the shipyard able to get boats back on the water quickly.

Pingree says the shipyard’s aging lift frequently needs repairs, which causes delays and other problems for commercial vessels in the area. Ships in the area include commercial fishing boats, ferries and emergency service vessels.

Pingree says the shipyard’s current mobile boat hoist has sustained down time on at least 225 days since the start of 2014. Heavier vessels also test the limits of its capacity.

Portland Shipyard plans to purchase a 330-ton Marine Travelift with the federal grant money.

The Portland Shipyard grant was one of 18 awarded nationwide, totaling $9.8 million, according to a department news release.

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

 


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