Marine Log

September 11, 2006

U.S. Barge wins first order

U.S. Barge LLC, a company co-owned by Oregon Iron Works, Inc. (OIW) and Vigor Industrial LLC, last week announced that it has signed a contract for its first order.

The company has agreed to build and deliver multiple "blue-water," or ocean-going, barges to Young Brothers, Ltd. in Hawaii, with the first barge to be delivered in late September of 2007.

Young Brothers announced plans in April to add eight new barges as part of a 10 year, $186 million expansion plan.

U.S. Barge will invest approximately $8 million in new equipment on Portland's Swan Island and in Clackamas, Ore., in order to build barges and other watercraft. This venture is expected to bring nearly 100 high-skilled, family-wage jobs to the region.

"I am ecstatic that, with this venture, we bring Swan Island back to its roots in vessel construction: Ships were built here during World War II." said Vigor Industrial president Frank Foti.

Vigor is the parent company of Cascade General Inc., which took over the shipyard when the Port of Portland sold it in 2000. The Oregonian notes that Foti, Vigor's president, "bought the shipyard with plans to dramatically expand ship-repair work. Ten months later, he announced that business setbacks had forced him to sell the crown jewel of the yard--Dry Dock 4--to a Bahamas shipyard.

Oregon Iron Works Chairman Terry Aarnio said, "Our joint undertaking with Vigor Industrial holds great promise. We always take the innovative approach this alliance and the building of these barges are no exception."

Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski said, "This is a great day for Oregon. U.S. Barge is a welcome addition to Oregon's array of cutting-edge industries. I know the workers and management of U.S. Barge will succeed in serving an important market and that their efforts will make Oregon's economy stronger. Congratulations to Oregon Iron Works, Vigor Industrial, and everyone involved in this exciting new undertaking."