The Pequot River Shipworks was established in April of 1996, as a Limited Liability Corporation totally owned by the Mashantucket Tribal Nation. The Shipworks facility is located in the northern fabrication bays of the former Thames Valley Steel facility in New London, CT. These fabrication bays cover in excess of 41,000 square feet of floor space. Since this section of the building was initially built to support heavy steel assembly fabrication, it is well suited for the TriCat Construction with plenty of power, a good floor area for fabrication and fabrication support, overhead crane ways and the potential to revise the ceiling trusses to enable the fabrication of the entire TriCat in the building prior to roll out for launch. It is presently estimated that there is enough space in the two bays to start the fabrication of portions of the second TriCat prior to the roll out of the first TriCat so that these portions of the second vessel can be moved to the fabrication bay for final assembly as soon as the first vessel moves out.
The Pequot River Shipworks includes a marketing function that is jointly financed by FBM, our business partner in the United Kingdom, and the Pequot River Shipworks. The primary objective of the marketing function is to identify and pursue future construction business for the Shipworks. As the success of the marketing function increases and orders for more fast ferries are received, the Shipworks will continue to expand. It is expected that in the next several years the interest for fast ferries capable of carrying cars and trucks as well as container cargo will increase to the point that an order will be placed for this type of vessel. This will require the expansion of the Pequot River Shipworks to a larger facility.
During construction of the first TriCat, the Pequot River Shipworks will employ approximately 40 to 50 production workers and six staff personnel. The majority of the production workers are highly skilled shipbuilders that have been laid off from the nearby Electric Boat facility as a result of the defense downsizing. The Shipworks is able to select the most qualified of these workers who can easily retrain to be productive aluminum fast ferry fabricators.
The Pequot River Shipworks facility and equipment has been developed to be easily reconfigured to manufacture the majority of the FBM fast ferry designs.