MAY 29, 2012 — Bill Harrison III, owner of Harrison Brothers Dry Dock and Repair Yard Inc., Mobile, Ala., has announced that the shipyard — founded in 1895 — is to close.
The Press-Register reports that the inventory – ranging from a 1908 barge to a 1940s tug and more modern equipment – is being sold in one chunk. “Harrison is looking to clear and lease the land – one 18-acre tract known as the south yard that’s directly in front of Austal USA’s riverfront works and another 3-acre tract known as the north yard,” says the newspaper. It quotes Mr. Harrison as saying that a combination of events led him to his decision, includinga slack economy, the Gulf oil spill putting the squeeze on drilling, and a new industry environment – one where small yards do not necessarily fit in.
“We’re dealing with an environment of consolidation now. The one- and two-tugboat operators are giving way to the 50- and 500-tugboat operators,” the Press-Register quotes him as saying.