The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Maritime Administration:
(VALLEJO, Calif.) — U.S. Maritime Administrator David Matsuda today joined California state and local officials in a ribbon-cutting ceremony officially opening the first ship recycling facility on the West Coast. At its peak, Allied Defense Recycling (ADR) expects to bring more than 100 jobs to the Vallejo area.
"The Obama Administration is making good on its commitment to clean up the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "This targeted transportation investment will bolster our efforts to remove obsolete ships while creating jobs, improving the local economy and protecting the environment."
Prior to the creation of the new facility, obsolete ships were cleaned before removal from the Bay Area and then towed 5,000 miles through the Panama Canal to MARAD-approved recycling facilities located along the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic coast. Allied Defense Recycling, using the former Mare Island Naval Shipyard, will both remove marine growth on their dry dock and recycle the ships, which will generally result in decreased recycling costs and reduced delays associated with the process of cleaning and recycling ships in separate facilities.
"A West Coast recycling facility just makes sense," said Maritime Administrator Matsuda. "It's efficient, increases competition and creates jobs. ADR will help MARAD meet its mission while helping to revitalize the local economy."
Most of the Mare Island complex has been shut down since the United States Navy left in 1996. In 2009, ADR received approval to open a ship dismantling and repair service on the site. Since receiving the contracts from MARAD, the company has hired 50 people, many of which are former base employees.
The Maritime Administration promotes the development and maintenance of an adequate, well-balanced United States merchant marine fleet, sufficient to carry the Nation's domestic waterborne commerce and a substantial portion of its waterborne foreign commerce, and capable of service as a naval and military auxiliary in time of war or national emergency. The Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet is one of three anchorages maintained by the Maritime Administration for national defense and national emergency purposes. For additional information about the Maritime Administration, visit www.marad.dot.gov.