Vigor-Ketchikan deal gets go-ahead

KETCHIKAN, Alaska — Vigor Industrial says, “The new and expanded future for shipbuilding, ship repair and maritime jobs in Alaska starts today, following state approval for Vigor Industrial to assume Alaska Ship & Drydock (ASD) private/public partnership leases to operate the Ketchikan Shipyard.”

Vigor announced that, the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) unanimously voted this week in Anchorage to transfer leases to the new Vigor Alaska Ship & Drydock subsidiary, clearing the way for Vigor’s acquisition of the operating company. The purchase was first announced Feb. 7, pending AIDEA approval.

As AIDEA executive director Ted Leonard noted in his report to the Authority board of directors, “The transfer of ownership [of the shipyard operating company]will enhance the opportunities at Ketchikan Shipyard to bid on and win Alaskan-based business given the experience, supporting facilities and greater financial capacity of a larger company.”

“Due to Vigor’s financial strength, and the creation of synergies with the other Vigor companies,” Leonard’s report added, “the operations in Ketchikan will be more efficient and more cost competitive with other shipyards (regionally and globally), furthering the sustainability of the Shipyard as an economic engine for the region.”

Officials of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough and the City of Ketchikan also approved the transfer.

“We start today working with the people here in Ketchikan and throughout Alaska to build even more maritime and industrial jobs at this great facility,” said Adam Beck, president of the new Alaska Ship & Drydock subsidiary and director of regional operations for Vigor, in a statement.

Employees and customers will see little change in day-to-day operations, the press release quoted Randy Johnson, former ASD owner who remains with the company as Vice Chairman.

“With Vigor’s investment strength, our talented people and our combined Pacific coast shipbuilding experience, the shipyard and Ketchikan are now better-than-ever positioned for growth and expansion,” Johnson said in the statement.

With the addition of Alaska Ship & Drydock, Vigor companies now serve commercial and government maritime and industrial customers in seven locations across the Northwest with close to 2,000 workers, according to the release. In addition to now operating the drydocks, deep-water piers and the soon-to-open ship assembly hall in Ketchikan, Vigor owns the 60-acre Swan Island shipyard in Portland, Ore., the historic Harbor Island yard in Seattle and has operations in Tacoma, Everett, Bremerton and Port Angeles. Wash. 

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