Vigor Industrial close to deal for Seward Ship's Drydock
Vigor Industrial, which operates the Ketchikan shipyard, is poised to acquire Seward Ship’s Drydock operations.
It’s unclear when an agreement might be finalized, Vigor spokesman Brian Mannion said Feb. 3, but he said the company excited about expanding in Alaska.
“We are looking at making investments in the workforce (in Seward) very similar to what we’re doing in Ketchikan,” Mannion said.
Vigor purchased Alaska Ship and Drydock operations in Ketchikan in early 2012 and is currently in the midst of more than $130 million of expansion investments at the facility. The Portland, Ore.-based shipbuilding and repair company operates seven yards in the Pacific Northwest.
Aside from the business-to-business transaction, the Seward City Council will have to approve lease and operations and maintenance contracts with Vigor as the city owns the 11-acre parcel that Seward Ship’s and Drydock calls home, city manager Jim Hunt said.
“I think I can safely say everybody here in Southcentral is really excited about this opportunity and what it means not only to Seward and the Kenai (Peninsula), but all of Southcentral,” Hunt said.
Vigor has plans to hold workforce development courses in the area geared towards the basic aspects of ship work, Mannion said.
“Beyond strengthening our business, we look forward to providing even greater family-wage job opportunities for Seward’s current workforce and Alaskans overall,” Vigor President and CEO Frank Foti said in a formal statement.”
Primarily a ship repair facility, Seward Ship’s Drydock’s workforce peaks at about 80 workers during the busiest times said Jim Pruitt, company president.
“The yard is growing and I think Vigor is the proper one to pass the baton to to take it to the next level,” Pruitt said.
The City of Seward submitted a $7.9 million appropriation request to the Legislature this session to fully-fund construction of a roughly $29 million breakwater in the area immediately surrounding the shipyard. Hunt said if the request is approved, construction of the breakwater would begin after the fishing season this fall.
It is all a part of a larger Seward Marine Industrial Center plan, he said, that the city has for the land it owns across Resurrection Bay from the population center.
Elwood Brehmer can be reached at [email protected].