Fraser Shipyards awarded $793K federal grant

Small shipyard grant will help modernize Superior shipyard
Work happens on a ferry at Fraser Shipyard in Superior recently. (Jed Carlson /

Fraser Shipyards was awarded a grant through the U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration.

The Superior-based shipyard will receive $793,162 through the Small Shipyard Grant Program for overhead material handling and steel brake processing improvement at its facility at 1 Clough Ave., according to a news release.

“The money we put in for will help us increase our overhead crane capacity at our production facility,” said Dave Steininger, president and chief operating officer of Fraser Shipyard. “We’re putting in two 12-ton cranes to replace two smaller, aging cranes.”

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In addition, the funding will allow Fraser to change the way it handles materials on the ground between the two main production areas utilizing a rail system.

“It will make it a lot more efficient and a lot safer for us because we had to move it with a forklift and maybe skid some things across the floor,” Steininger said. “It’s a much more civilized way to move material through the facility.”

Overall, the shipyard is planning to invest about $1 million in improvements with the help of the grant, Steininger said.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration announced the award April 20 as part of $19.6 million in discretionary grants headed to 24 U.S. small shipyards to modernize America’s small shipyards, the news release said.

“This ... investment in the nation’s small shipyards will help maintain the U. S. shipyard infrastructure of our country,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao in the news release.

The Small Shipyard Grant Program provides funding to help shipyards modernize operations, improve efficiency and reap the benefits of increased productivity.

“Small shipyard grants play a significant role in supporting local communities by creating jobs for working families,” said Maritime Administrator Mark H. Buzby in the news release. “These shipyards are a tangible investment in our nation’s maritime infrastructure and the future of our maritime workforce.”

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