MARAD loan guarantee helps Bravante V set sailVessel & ROV News // April 2, 2013
When President Obama told the nation that he wanted America to be a “magnet for jobs,” he envisioned an economy that invested in our country’s workforce and brought business to our shores.
And with last Thursday’s launch of the Bravante V from the Eastern Shipyard in Panama City, Florida, it’s clear that vision – and the hard work that followed – is paying off.
Bravante V is a platform supply vessel owned by Boldini SA, of Rio de Janiero, Brazil. But thanks to a US$240.8 million loan guarantee from the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) in 2011, Boldini selected the Panama City-based Eastern Shipbuilding Company to construct Bravante V and four additional vessels over the next three-and-a-half years.
By choosing Eastern, Boldini helped create 350 jobs in Panama City, which in turn added more than 2,600 overall new jobs to the US economy through suppliers and other jobs in the local economy.
"This is the kind of return we hoped for when we awarded Eastern two small shipyard grants totaling US$3.4 million to buy new panel lines, and modern welding equipment," said MARAD. "That equipment enabled them to construct ship panels more quickly than they had previously, when each was built by hand. The end result was lower costs and much higher, more cost-efficient productivity at Eastern Shipyard.
Thanks in large part to federal investments and the improvements they provided, Eastern manufactures an average of 18 vessels per year, delivering each on or ahead of schedule. More vessels create more business, and more jobs.
"Bravante V and Boldini’s four remaining vessels are perfect examples of what we can achieve when the public and private sectors work together," said MARAD. "Our partnership with Eastern helped convince a foreign company to invest in US workers, and now hundreds of men and women in Panama City have good jobs as a result.
"That’s why MARAD has guaranteed nearly US$2 billion in Title XI loans for shipyard projects around the country, and it’s why we’ve invested nearly US$10 million in small shipyard grants in the past year. That money helps attract business to American manufacturers, creating jobs for American workers."