Navy Issues Contracts in First Step Toward $8B to Rebuild Two Public Shipyards

November 11, 2021 4:40 PM
Sailors and Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PSNS & IMF) workers load a crash and salvage crane onto the flight deck of Nimitz-class nuclear aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) on June 22, 2021. US Navy Photo

The Navy issued the first contracts to companies that will compete for about $8 billion worth of military construction projects at shipyards in Hawaii and Washington state, two of its four public shipyards long overdue for modernization that can support the fleet’s growing repair and maintenance backlog.

This first step in the Navy’s $21 billion plan to modernize its four public shipyards involves an initial $2 million “minimum guarantee” to each of four companies to compete for task orders for projects at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, Hawaii, and Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Wash., according to yesterday’s Defense Department contract award announcement. Some of the projects that are part of the contract are planned for Guam and “other areas in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.”

They are slated to be completed by November 2029.

These initial contracts will be funded by $10 million Navy’s fiscal 2022 military construction funds, the announcement stated, and “future task orders will be primarily funded by military construction (Navy) funds.”

Each of the five companies – Bechtel National Inc. of Reston, Va.; Dragados/Hawaiian Dredging/Orion JV of Honolulu, Hawaii; ECC Infrastructure LLC of Burlingame, Calif.; Kiewit-Alberici SIOP MACC AJV of Vancouver, Wash.; and TPC-NAN JV of Sylmar, Calif. – received firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, multiple-award construction contracts for Naval Sea Systems Command’s Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program.

“The five companies may compete for future task orders for pre-construction planning, preparation, and constructability reviews associated with construction of waterfront facilities such as warehouses, dry docks, piers, and other site improvements, as well as dredging and incidental design, environmental, and other services related to” SIOP, NAVSEA said in a statement.

“These contracts will help the Navy begin design and renovation work at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Puget Sound Naval Shipyard once we’ve completed all the regulatory processes, including agency and government-to-government consultations and public engagement,” said Rear Adm. John Korka, NAVFAC’s commander, and the Navy’s chief of Civil Engineers. “It involves industry partners in our planning efforts, a lesson we learned from our SIOP efforts to date. This will facilitate healthy competition and, ultimately, help us deliver the best solution we can for our Navy and our nation.”

Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Jefferson City (SSN-759) departs Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard after completing an engineering overhaul to prolong the life of the submarine. During the shipyard period, shipyard employees and the crew performed multiple repairs, conducted preventative maintenance, and installed equipment upgrades to tactical systems and the propulsion plant. US Navy Photo

“The Navy depends on our shipyards returning combat-ready ships and submarines to the fleet,” said Korka. “SIOP guides the Navy’s investment plan to achieve that. It’s a once-in-a-century effort that the NAVFAC team is proud to be part of.”

The plan also will modernize its other public shipyards: Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Va., and Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Maine. No contract has been announced yet for those facilities, which are the oldest of the four shipyards, dating back to 1767 and 1800, respectively.

The Navy’s 20-year, $21 billion plan, or SIOP as it’s known, would modernize infrastructure at the four naval shipyards by doing critical dry dock repairs, restoring and reconfiguring shipyard facilities, and replacing aging and deteriorating equipment.

But the service has been under congressional pressures to move more quickly at bolstering maintenance and repair capabilities at the shipyards, including critical improvements that are needed in the near-term for those yards to do repairs and maintenance on the growing nuclear-powered fleet.

The shipyard modernization program grew out of a shipyard improvement plan the Navy initially gave Congress in 2013, and it submitted Phase 1 of SOIP to lawmakers in 2018.

“I’m concerned that the Navy will not dedicate the necessary resources to prioritize this effort and that the 20-year time horizon is a very long and probably too long to support a very changing fleet,” House Armed Services readiness subcommittee chairman Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) said during a March hearing. Navy officials told lawmakers they were looking at shorter, 10- to 15-year timeframes.

Gidget Fuentes

Gidget Fuentes

Gidget Fuentes is a freelance writer based in San Diego, Calif. She has spent more than 20 years reporting extensively on the Marine Corps and the Navy, including West Coast commands and Pacific regional issues.

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