Marine Log

August 30, 2006

Erie Shipbuildng gets $2.5 million grant

Erie Shipbuilding LLC has received a $2.5 million capital grant funded through Pennsylvania's Redevelopment Assistance Capital Plan.

Erie Shipbuilding operates the Port Erie shipyard previously operated by Metro Machine.

The grant will help the company expand operations.

Erie Shipbuilding is a joint venture of Van Enkevort Tug & Barge and K&K Warehousing. Its first completed project was conversion of the former Oglebay Norton Great Lakes steamer Buckeye into an unmanned barge.

The yard will also build new vessels for Van Enkevort. The company plans to expand VTB's fleet by five to six vessels within three years.

The state grant will help the company with capital expenditures as it seeks to acquire the necessary equipment to outfit the shipyard property.

Erie Shipbuilding has plans to hire a number of skilled laborers, including metal fabricators, pipe fitters, electricians and welders. The number of employees at the shipyard could reach 200 by 2007, up from approximately 60 today.