SMBC Board member Brian Thomas’ company Kvichak Marine Industries has been all over the news lately—locally and nationally—as the ‘poster child’ for successful manufacturing businesses.
Most recently they have been chosen to build new skimmers to help with the Bluewater Horizon spill clean up. The following is excerpted from the August issue of Pacific Maritime Magazine www.pacmar.com
The ‘damn hole’ is apparently plugged, at press time, but there is a big cleanup job ahead in the Gulf of Mexico. Not surprisingly, expertise and equipment to deal with the spill are being sought on the West Coast. The US West Coast has been at the center of oil spill expertise since 1989, when the Exxon Valdez changed the face of the maritime industry, and companies like Kvichak Marine Industries, which specializes in aluminum fast ferries, pilot boats and research vessels, have also become experts in the field of marine oil spill response.
Kvichak has been asked to build 30 skimmers for the Gulf, equipped with Kvichak/Marco Filterbelt oil and debris recovery systems.
The company has already sent two of the boats south, and 28 more will be built at a rate of three a week.
A crew of four can operate the skimmers in 15 feet of water or less, and under optimal conditions can pick up 1,000 barrels of oil a day.
The skimmers cost between $300,000 and $400,000 each, meaning the 30 boats could bring about $10 million in sales to the Seattle company. It pays to specialize.