Shipbuilding, ship repair and maritime jobs in Alaska have an even brighter future as Alaska Ship and Drydock Inc. (ASD) and Vigor Industrial today jointly announced their intent to make ASD a Vigor company.
ASD intends to transition its business and assets to Vigor pending approval of the transfer of ownership by the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA), the owner of the Ketchikan Shipyard where ASD is based. The private companies hope to finalize their agreement on or before March 1st.
ASD would operate the Ketchikan Shipyard (KSY) as the Alaska Ship & Drydock LLC subsidiary, in continuation of its thirty year AIDEA operating agreements. ASD employees and customers will notice little change in day-to-day operations, said ASD owner Randy Johnson, a Ketchikan resident who has directed operations at KSY since 1994. Johnson will continue with the company, becoming ASD Vice Chairman.
“The purchase of ASD by Vigor will increase the capacity and competitiveness of the Ketchikan Shipyard in many ways, positioning Ketchikan and the State of Alaska to not only continue our high level of service to existing customers, but to significantly participate in exciting new markets emerging in the North Pacific and Arctic Oceans,” Johnson said.
Vigor Industrial currently owns and operates leading maritime services in the Pacific Northwest at facilities from Portland through Puget Sound.
“We see a tremendous opportunity here to work with Alaska residents to grow maritime jobs and industry from Oregon to the Arctic,” said Frank Foti, Vigor Industrial owner and CEO.
Vigor owns the 60-acre Swan Island shipyard in Portland, the historic Harbor Island yard in Seattle as well as operations in Tacoma, Everett, Bremerton and Port Angeles. Vigor customers include commercial fishing and cargo fleets, barge and workboat owners, oil transportation companies, Washington State Ferries, the Alaska Marine Highway System and alternative energy developers. Vigor, which purchased the Todd Pacific Shipyards in February 2011, also maintains and renovates U.S. Navy aircraft carriers and other vessels and U.S. Coast Guard assets including the icebreakers USCGC Healy, Polar Star and Polar Sea.
ASD has a loyal clientele, which consistently visit Ketchikan for marine maintenance and repair projects. Johnson will continue his focus on strategic planning & business development. Under his guidance, the firm entered the new-build market with innovative shipbuilding processes; created a highly competitive, multi-skilled workforce made up of Ketchikan residents; and forged an effective public-private partnership with the State of Alaska through AIDEA.
The combined companies would offer a full range of ship building, repair and modernization services in seven facilities in Alaska, Washington and Oregon with ten drydocks, more than 17,000 feet of pier space as well as large-scale fabrication facilities, specialty coatings and other industrial services. Upon approval, the companies will employ close to 2,000 workers across the Pacific Northwest.
Adam Beck, currently general manager of the Vigor Marine subsidiary’s regional operations, will take on added duties as ASD’s President. Beck worked at the Ketchikan yard for five years prior to joining Vigor Industrial in Portland.
Shipbuilding Tribune Staff, February 8, 2012; Image: Vigor