ASRC Energy Services broke ground Tuesday on an expansion and upgrade to its Rig Tenders Dock marine facility in Nikiski.
"This is the shot in the arm that our state needed," said ASRC Energy Services President and CEO Jeff Kinneeveauk, referring to the increase in oil and gas activity that has made the upgrades feasible.
According to information provided by the company, the $9.4 million expansion project will be accomplished in three phases, with a 2013 completion date. Phase one will address maintenance issues that require immediate attention, including maintaining the structural integrity of the dock.
Phase two includes upgrades to re-establish fuel and potable water services at the dockfront, and the purchase of a 225-ton crane and L220 loader. The company says those services have been requested by its clients.
Phase three includes electrical and lighting upgrades, a security and monitoring system, and grading and paving of the dock surface.
Rig Tenders Dock was built in the late 1960s to support the expanding oil and gas industry in Cook Inlet. ASRC Energy Services acquired the facility in 1997 and developed it into a module fabrication and assembly yard.
The new dock facing will include additional bumpers for vessels tied up there, and a ramp will be upgraded to accommodate the landing craft-type vessels that service production facilities on the west side of Cook Inlet.
The company says the upgrades will allow it to pursue new opportunities as oil and gas exploration activities increase in Cook Inlet as well as in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, and on the North Slope and push the demand for marine services. ASRC Energy Services also will be able to tackle construction and fabrication for upcoming projects from its Kenai Fabrication Shop.
The upgrades will improve working conditions for current employees, and allow the facility to take on more work, said Bobby Reddell, general manager for fabrication and construction for ASRC Energy Services, during the groundbreaking festivities.
Kinneeveauk said he's happy to see the resurgence of activity in Cook Inlet, particularly as he's had to deal with the effects of the state's ACES tax structure in other parts of the state.
"I'm happy that this area hasn't taken as much of a hit as the rest of the state," he said. "Hopefully, this sends a message to lawmakers that if you invite business to partner and invest in the community, we will do it."