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Shipyard Services ahead of schedule on much needed improvements

fishing boat on the shipyard railway
reporters@samoanews.com

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The Governor’s State of the Territory Comprehensive Report, distributed to lawmakers last month during a Fono joint session, provides a summary of achievements by the American Samoa Shipyard Authority, which oversees the ASG-owned shipyard in Satala.

According to the report, the authority — which is governed by a board of directors — has resolved major hurdles that existed at the start of the Lemanu-Talauega Administration.

Early last year, the governor issued an executive order amending provisions of the 2011 order, to include changes to the composition of the Shipyard Authority’s board of directors and appointment of its executive director. (The shipyard executive director is local businessman, Carlos Sanchez.)

For years, the shipyard was closed and unable to provide the much-needed overhaul and repair services to ocean vessels due to its deteriorating state, according to the report.

“It was forecasted that it would take at least 12 - 14 months before any dry-docking work could begin,” it says. “This has been accomplished in 9 months.”

It also says that the shipyard’s objective is to become a 2-cradle shipyard with all the equipment necessary to attempt any other challenge in the boat repair business using the maximum capabilities of a 3000- ton capacity shipyard.

The shipyard has also acquired a full line of equipment and tools and paused dry-docking operations last December in an effort to repair the second cradle, so that two vessels could dry-dock at the same time. And this will allow the shipyard to double their production and repair capabilities therefore doubling revenue.

According to the report, the shipyard last year serviced eight boats and has collected about $1 million.

Apart from the economic and revival success, the governor’s report points out that the shipyard has been able to learn how to confront adversity, and has created an incredible force of efficient workers.

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 3 to 4 different work positions.

The shipyard has also implemented an initiative with the purpose of recruitment and the implementation of a training program for a new generation of shipyard workers.

“To date, 6 people have performed extremely well under this program,” the report says.