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Carlos Sanchez signals his intent to resign from Shipyard Services

CARLOS Sanchez

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Chairman of the Shipyard Services Authority, Togiola T. A. Tulafono says Carlos Sanchez “emailed” in that he would be submitting his resignation from the executive director’s post at the next Board meeting.

“He is still working as far as I know,” said Togiola.

“All I received from Mr Sanchez was that he will be resigning but nothing official has been submitted,” explained Togiola during a brief interview with Samoa News.

Sanchez, co-owner of a locally based US longline fishing fleet, was first appointed as Shipyard Services executive director in February 2021.

Sanchez took over from Fepuleai Siakisone Liu.

Prior to taking over the executive director’s post, he was the first board chairman after the government took over full control of the shipyard, when in 2011 then-Gov. Togiola Tulafono established the Shipyard Service Authority and appointed a board via executive order.

He held the board chairman post from June 2011 but voluntarily resigned in early February 2013, after the new administration of Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga served letters of termination — effective Jan. 31, 2013 — on three board members.

Mr Sanchez has been emailed for comments but so far, has not responded.


The Governor’s latest State of the Territory Comprehensive Report, distributed to lawmakers as well as other federal agencies in January outlined that the Satala-based government owned Shipyard continues to carry out its motto of “Serving the Largest, Safest, and Busiest Port in the Pacific;” and is doing well.

Apart from the economic and revival success, the shipyard created an incredible force of efficient workers, the report states.

“The Shipyard’s success is a collective effort of 26 skilled workers and 13 security staff, accounting, procurement, office personnel,” it says.

Additionally, the majority of the shipyard’s employees have been cross-trained; each member has been taught and trained to be more versatile and be able to perform in different work positions.

According to the report, in 2022, the Shipyard doubled its productivity from dry-docking 8 boats in 2021, to 16 boats in 2022.

The Shipyard also successfully dry-docked 2 from Apia, and 1 from Taiwan, according to the report, which claims that this accomplishment, is “signaling confidence from foreign companies in the local shipyard.”

The report further claims that the Shipyard “has resolved major hurdles that existed” at the start of the Lemanu-Talauega Administration in January 2021.

Within the 18-months of the Administration, the shipyard team has been able to repair, revive and put the yard back to full working capacity. The report summarized shipyard accomplishments such as dry docking 28 vessels ranging from government owned vessels to cargo vessels, passenger vessels and domestic and foreign fishing boats.

It repaired many boats along-side the shipyard dock; repaired 700 feet of railway stretching out to where it is 120 feet deep; completed full repairs of the two cradle beds (metal and all wooden sections); added 30 new roller sections (value of more than $500k) to each side of the cradle; and the frames of the cradles were removed, replaced and reinstalled under water.

The report also states that all equipment necessary for basic operations was purchased and all are in use: scissor lifts, forklifts, crane, floatation lift balloons, new welding machine, plasma cutters, vacuum trailer, water blaster, lathe, compressors, power tools, small tools, drones, diving equipment, underwater equipment and many other small tools, accessories, etc.

Additionally, the shipyard has replenished inventory and purchased U.S. made products. And the inventory now exceeds $800,000: Welding Shop has expanded with more machinery and now has 20 welding stations; and the machine shop has been renewed with new machinery and full stock of parts for machinery and equipment.

However, this is an ongoing effort as much more needs to be done, the report indicates.

The report explained ongoing projects, such as the extension of 24 feet to accommodate the longer purse seiners that are now more than 300 ft long. The cradle is 308 ft long, however this will leave the shipyard without space to have machinery on the cradles to execute all the necessary jobs such as painting, sandblasting, etc.

Also ongoing is the electrical panel system upgrades for the cradle wench and electrical system for the entire shipyard. This is a complicated process and the shipyard team is working with a California company to complete this process without any disruptions to shipyard operations.