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October 22, 2005

Erie Shipbuilding up and running

Erie Shipbuilding is up and running and more details are emerging about its plans.

The company has taken over the Erie, Pa. shipyard formerly leased by Metro Machine and is a joint venture between Van Enkevort Tug and Barge (VET&B) and K&K Warehousing.

According to a press release issued by the State of Pennsylvania, "VET&B has committed to build a new 780-foot self-unloading laker (barge) and four 135-foot icebreaker certified tugs, which are scheduled to go into operation in 2008. The company has also committed to converting at least four additional 780 foot-long straight deckers and self-unloading barges in the next five years."

The Erie Port Authority and VET&B have entered into and executed a five-year lease with two renewable five-year options.

Last year, Pennsylvania offered $2 million to upgrade the vessel repairs facilities at the port, money that will be used by the Western Pennsylvania Port Authority to complete the dry dock for the new shipbuilder.