June 10, 2010
Derecktor christens widened dry dock
Derecktor Shipyards is hoping to bring in new ship repair and newbuilding work following the recommissioning of its floating dry dock Robert E. Derecktor at its Bridgeport, Connecticut, shipyard..
Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Joan McDonald christened the dry dock Tuesday, breaking a bottle of champagne at her first attempt.
"The partnership between Derecktor Shipyards and the state has been a fruitful one and one we hope will continue for years to come," said Joan McDonald. "Derecktor is a brand known round the world, and we're proud to support its growth. The company's success in Bridgeport is a testament to the state's commitment to the revitalization of our cities, reclaiming brownfields for productive use, growing our industries and creating job opportunities for all. Investments like we've made in Derecktor are vital to retaining and growing good jobs in our state and making Connecticut even more competitive in the global marketplace."
The dry dock was refurbished with the help of a $1 million state grant that was used to leverage $2,947,710 in Small Shipyard Grant stimulus funding through the U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration.
Tom Derecktor, president of Derecktor Shipyards, said the new dry dock gives the facility "a unique capability that will give us an advantage at this harbor.The new dry dock not only lets us grow our work load, but let us easily transfer large vessels into our 300 foot building for major refits and other big jobs requiring a covered, climate controlled environment. We can now handle virtually every large vessel."
The shipyard has owned the dry dock for 15 years, but it was too narrow to handle larger ships. The state and federaal funding was used to to reconfigure the unit and make it practical for larger ships.
Mr. Derecktor said the dry dock was split in half and its deck widened. It will now allow the yard to fully service vessels up to 4,000 long tons, 400 feet (122 meters) in length, 82 feet (25 meters) in beam and 20 feet (6 meters) draft.
"We could come here now," said Fred Hall, vice president and general manager of the Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamship Co. His company runs the ferries between Long Island and Bridgeport, but until now has had to go to New London for repair work.