"Christmas in August"
by Larry Pearson (9/9/2009)
Last month this column reported on three major grant programs by the U.S. government to encourage smaller shipyards to increase productivity and efficiency.
The $60 million grant program to 19 states to build or rehabilitate ferries and their supporting land infrastructure seemed “right on the money.” So did the $17.1 million from the Department of Transportation (DOT) awarded to 14 shipyards in 10 states. Both these awards were made in early July.
On July 14, the big money awards were announced totaling $100 million. These awards went to 67 shipyards from the economic stimulus bill. No sooner than they were announced, they were canceled; the secretary of transportation calling the method used to determine the awards as “incomplete.”
A month and two days later the awards were reissued adding six shipyards to the total, canceling three awards and adjusting the amounts on two others.
These awards and those made with the $17.1 million grants were for the basic shipyard building blocks — welding equipment, press brakes, cranes, painting systems, dry docks and other such things...
...Others which received at least $2 million included:
• Pacific Shipyard International, Honolulu, Hawaii, $3.9 million
• Atlantic Marine, Jacksonville, Fla., Philadelphia and Boston, $2.6 million
• BAE Systems, San Diego and San Francisco, Calif., $2.2 million