Government shipyard takes on major refurbishing jobs

Sanchez calls work a “new era” for the shipyard

The Chairman of the Shipyard Services Authority in Atu’u, Carlos Sanchez, held a meeting recently with local welding companies to discuss the possibility of hiring them for the upcoming work refurbishing two purse-seiner fishing vessels, the Cape May and the Koorale.

“We have a major task. We have two purse seiners starting on the 20th of this month until November or so, where we will be refurbishing them both, back to back,” said Sanchez.

“On both of these purse seiners we will be doing carpentry work, working on the bathrooms, the pipes and a lot of other things. This is a big, big job. This is the beginning of a new era for the shipyard”.

“We just invested in a new chain for the Docking Car that cost $203,000 and to install it, $50,000. We’ve done other work on it as well. We’re preparing ourselves for the purse seiners,” he said.

He went on to say that some of the work they has already been completed involved 42 longliners and two other purse seiners. The acting manager and BOD chairman said this work was minor compared to the upcoming work to be done on the Cape May and the Koorale.

“Because we have been doing so well and they (the owners) are convinced of our work and believe we are up for the challenge, they are bringing in their purse seiners. Since we do not have all of the personnel, we are hiring other companies to come and work for us to do the job. That means we are distributing the money we are going to make here to these other companies around the island. We already have carpenters subcontracted, along with electricians, and we will increase the number of painters and sandblasters along with other workers. At this time we have about 40 workers, but we will need about 65 to 70 people working in the shipyard once the work begins on August 20th.”

He added that this is what he promised he was going to do, and the community can take a look for themselves and judge if they are doing a good job.

One of the things that Sanchez spoke about was the increase in their inventory. They now have close to $450,000 worth of pipes alone, along with chains, plates and welding rods.

“Now we are growing little by little. We have hired an electrician to keep things running and have also hired a ‘safety’ person who will be holding safety classes before we start this job to reinforce what they have already.”

Sanchez said, “This is going to be a monumental task for us and we are treating it like one. I know that a lot of people criticize us about things we do. To that I say, come on in and check us out. Review us. We would like to be checked. We are transparent and we are open. We want people to come and see for themselves what is happening here.”

During the meeting, the local welding company owners were told the jobs would take from three to four months, the shipyard would be supplying the necessary equipment and material for the jobs and “20 welders per day” would be needed.

“We want to use local companies. If we do this in a timely, quality manner, there will be more,” Sanchez told them.


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