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AS Shipyard Services closes out with surplus third FY in a row

For the third consecutive fiscal year, the American Samoa Shipyard Services Authority has closed out with a surplus, which will be invested back into the government owned Ronald Reagan Marine Railways Shipyard, says board chairman David Robinson.


At the end of FY 2012, the shipyard surplus was close to $130,000 while the surplus for FY 2011 was just over $60,000, according to shipyard officials late last year.


During this past summer, there were some concerns from the Fono about whether or not the shipyard will stay within its FY 2013 budget of $1.89 million due to repairs and other work that needed to be carried out. The shipyard forecasted FY 2013 revenues at $2.17 million with a projected surplus of $300,000.


During the shipyard’s budget hearing last month, Robinson was confident — despite concerns from lawmakers — that the shipyard was going to stay within its budget spending.


In response to Samoa News inquiries over the weekend, Robinson said, “We managed to achieve a net profit of just over $200,000 last fiscal year [2013]. And this money has been reinvested into all the work we are carrying out and all the equipment upgrades that are taking place.”


He added, “It was achieved by diligent management of our work schedule and cash flow and careful planning and decision making by the shipyard Board. We are anticipating another successful year in fiscal year 2014.”


(The Shipyard’s FY 2014 budget is close to $2.1 million)


Robinson said they expect the repairs and all testing of the platform, rail lines and hauling chains to be completed by the end of this week, in time for a longliner to come up on the slipway, on Oct. 30.


(The current repair and renovation project to the slipway or platform is estimated to cost around $300,000 — funded entirely with revenues earned at the shipyard).


Between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31 this year, Robinson said the shipyard is expecting at least two, maybe three purse seiners, three longliners and one ASG vessel. From January 2014 through the end of February or early March next year, the shipyard has scheduled three more longliners, one purse seiner and one tugboat from Apia, Samoa.


“We are hoping for an increase in vessels when our repairs and upgrades are completed and we shall be engaged in a very active promotional campaign to try to bring back some of the longliners that we have not worked on for sometime,” he said.


(Robinson told lawmakers in August that the shipyard is looking at an aggressive marketing campaign to attract longliner vessels back to American Samoa once the shipyard is fully repaired and renovated.)


When asked about future repairs to the shipyard, Robinson said they plan to replace the existing platform hauling motor when the new one becomes available from Westinghouse USA in December. The cost is $74,000 and the old motor will be overhauled and kept as a backup.


He added their next major project, which has already begun work, is the design of a 1,000 ton small slipway to replace the old one which was allowed to deteriorate. Crandalls Dry Dock Engineers are designing the unit and the shipyard is waiting to hear from Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga as to when Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) funds of $2.5 million will be available “so fabrication can start sometime in early 2014.”


According to Robinson, the shipyard continues to work with the American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency “in our attempts to clean up the shipyard and work within the EPA guidelines for the removal of all hazardous waste materials that have been accumulating over many years.”


Meanwhile, Robinson said the planned Maritime Training Academy, using space at the shipyard, is progressing well. The project is a joint collaboration between the shipyard and the Department of Youth and Women’s Affairs.


“Together we have started the process of planning our Maritime Training Academy for trades apprentices. We have four at present undertaking welding training,” he said.