Hampton Roads shipyards awarded more than $2.4 million in grants – The Virginian-Pilot

2022-06-04 01:44:43 By : Mr. Herman He

Shipyard workers at Lyon Shipyard work on a military berthing barge in Norfolk on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. Lyon recently received close to $1 million in grant funding to help buy a new bridge crane and upgrade electrical equipment. (Kristen Zeis)

A trio of Hampton Roads shipyards has received more than $2.4 million in federal grants to buy new cranes, a cutting table, electrical upgrades and other equipment.

Lyon Shipyard, Marine Hydraulics International and Tecnico Corporation received the money through the Shipyard Grant Program, which is organized by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration. The program awarded $19.6 million to 31 small shipyards in 15 states this year.

Tom Epley, Marine Hydraulics International president and CEO, said $897,853 would be used to buy a 100-ton telescopic truck-mounted crane and a waterjet cutting board powerful enough to rip through the steel used in the company’s fabrication shop.

“It’s a more capable crane than what was used before,” Epley said, explaining the new model has a greater reach and can lift heavier materials.

The grant is the second step in an upgrade process for the company’s equipment that began with another request two or three years ago, Epley said. Then, the company was able to buy new forklifts and other moving materials. The crane was one of the few upgrades not funded by the first grant, he said.

At Lyon, the $958,695 in funding will be used to support the purchase of a 15-ton bridge crane, 12 electrical substations, two waterproof switchboards and other upgrades and equipment. Tecnico will use $573,940 to help buy a hydraulic truck crane and other equipment.

“These grants go directly to small shipyards across the country and will help protect and create local jobs, strengthen America’s maritime industry and bolster our economic security,” U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said in a news release.

With better equipment and increased productivity, more ships will be able to move through United States shipyards and that will lead to more local job creation, said Acting Maritime Administrator Lucinda Lessley in the release.

Lyon was founded in 1928 in Norfolk and is still family-owned and operated. Marine Hydraulics International started in 1977 in Norfolk and has grown to 450 Hampton Roads employees, Epley said. Chesapeake’s Tecnico Corporation was founded in 1990 and has grown from 30 to more than 500 employees.

Trevor Metcalfe, 757-222-5345, trevor.metcalfe@insidebiz.com