Shipyard projects benefit whole state

  • Sunday, February 9, 2014 5:05pm
  • Opinion

Ketchikan’s shipyard has widespread support throughout the state.

It will need it to acquire $3 million from the Legislature this session.

But, if it can get this money — money it can’t get anywhere else — it will be spent to improve the shipyard’s operation, increasing the amount of work that can be done there. Increased work signals a growing business with an encouraging future, and if the businesses in Ketchikan can be described such, then the community is economically well.

The community has been strongly in support of the shipyard for decades, most evidently in its granting competitive electrical rates and tax relief. Stipulated in a 30-year agreement between the City of Ketchikan, Ketchikan Public Utilities, Ketchikan Gateway Borough and the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, which owns the shipyard operated by Vigor Alaska, the shipyard receives rates that allow it to be competitive against other shipyards.

The shipyard plans to build a new open air land-level berth. Construction requires relocating an electrical power substation, which is 26 years old. The substation is located in the middle of where the new berth would be constructed. Moving the electrical equipment would result in its being updated, which would improve efficiency and allow for the capacity of higher electrical loads. Improved capacity will be necessary as the shipyard continues to be developed.

And it will continue to develop. It is necessary infrastructure in a state with a maritime economy. Private, state and federal vessels can be repaired, maintained and built at the shipyard. They encompass every type of vessel from ferries, fishing boats, barges and U.S. Coast Guard cutters.

With the shipyard here, maritime operators do not have to make a trip to Seattle or elsewhere for service in most cases. This is especially important during the busiest times for the year for the maritime industry. It also means shipyard jobs are in Ketchikan and not out of state. Increasing development in the Arctic area of Alaska also increases the value of the shipyard operations by reducing the distance to shipyard services for vessels that operate there. That activity will only increase.

The shipyard is an ongoing project. It has been a community priority for decades, increasing its capabilities and contribution to the community and the state with each improvement. The state, through its legislators, should continue to build upon its investment in Ketchikan Shipyard. While it is an asset to Ketchikan, it serves the whole state.

— Ketchikan Daily News,

Feb. 1

More in Opinion

File
Opinion: Here’s what I expect of lawmakers in a post-Roe America

I urge lawmakers to codify abortion rights at the state and federal levels.

File
Opinion: Confusion over ranked choice voting persists

Voter confusion over ballot procedures will continue

Former Gov. Bill Walker, right, and his running mate former commissioner of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development Heidi Drygas, speak to Juneauites gathered for a fundraiser at a private home in Juneau on Tuesday, June 7, 2022. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Voices of the Peninsula: A vote for Walker/Drygas is a vote for Alaskans

It’s easy to forget some of the many lost lawsuits, devastating budget cuts and general incompetence that defines Mike Dunleavy’s term as governor

This photo shows a return envelop for 2022 special primary. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Voices of the Peninsula: Learn how to access your ballot

The recent special primary election was the first time the state conducted an all mail-in ballot election

The Storyknife Writers Retreat in the summer of 2021 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo provided)
Point of View: Storyknife: Invest in women writers, read the rewards

Storyknife is committed to providing opportunities to a diversity of writers

Residents line the Sterling Highway in front of Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s office to oppose Pebble Mine on Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Voices of the Peninsula: No more delays — finalize protections for Bristol Bay

How many times do we have to say NO to a bad project that would harm Alaskans?

Peter Asmus (Photo provided)
Why Alaska is leading the nation on energy innovation

Alaska is a unique vantage point upon which to review the world’s current energy conundrum

Gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker stands in the Peninsula Clarion office on Friday, May 6, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Opinion: On Alaska’s gasline, you can’t schedule opportunity

Alaska has the largest source of stranded conventional gas (no drilling required) in North America

Charlie Pierce stands in his home on Thursday, March 11, 2022, in Sterling, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Voices of the Peninsula: When politics get dirty

So, let me step out front and dispel the already debunked false narratives …

Most Read