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March 16, 2009

Fraser Shipyards gets $3.7 million state grant

Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle announced today a $3.7 million state Harbor Assistance Program (HAP) grant to the City of Superior that will help construct an 856-foot bulkhead wall at Fraser Shipyards. Along with construction of the corrugated steel wall, the project involves dredging some 14,000 cubic yards of material, installation of timber fenders, six bollards for tying down ships, and a heavy lift crane pad behind the bulkhead wall.

"The state is proud to partner with the City of Superior on this project that will help Fraser Shipyards continue its 120 year tradition of ship repair and construction," said Governor Doyle

The $3,722,636 award announced today represents the first of a three-phase project to construct some 1,868 feet of bulkhead wall at Fraser Shipyards. Combined with the dredging, the project will allow large ships to safely tie-up at the shipyard for construction and repair services.

The state HAP award will cover 80 percent of the project costs with Fraser Shipyards providing the required 20 percent match.

Wisconsin State Sen. Bob Jauch (D-Poplar) and State Rep. Nick Milroy (D-Superior) applauded the award of the $3.7 million grant.

Speaking at a press conference at the Fraser yard they said that the state investment will become the catalyst to seek a sizeable federal stimulus grant.

They said the shipyard will apply for a $10 million competitive grant from the Federal Maritime Administration to finish the substantial modernization of the facility.

In the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Congress appropriated $100 million for the small shipyards grant program which had previously been funded with $10 million. $75 million of this appropriation will be awarded to shipyards with 600 employees or less to foster efficiency, competitive operations and quality ship construction and repair. Grant awards will cover 75 percent of project costs.

"In this difficult economic climate of tight credit this shipyard expansion simply would not be possible without public investment," Rep. Milroy stated. "These dollars will provide construction jobs, stimulate steel production and greatly improve the shipyard's ability to modernize the facility. The opportunity will not only help increase job activity today but also give Fraser the competitive edge to create more permanent skilled-trades jobs in the future. The major public-private investment by the State of Wisconsin and Fraser Shipyards demonstrates a long-term commitment to ensuring our port industries are here to stay."


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