Press Releases

Recent Press Releases

Washington, D.C - U.S. Senators Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME), Susan Collins (R-ME), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) today welcomed the U.S. Navy's notification to the Senate Appropriations Committee that it plans to carry out a $15.8 million project for energy conservation and repairs to the Removable Submarine Covers (RSCs) at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNSY) this year. The notification is the third modernization project for the shipyard announced this month. Contract awards were previously announced for modernization and renovation of Buildings 174 and 178. The expected contract value of this project and the two previous contracts brings the total amount of investments in PNSY announced this month to $92 million.

Senator Collins is a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. She, along with fellow Armed Services Committee members Senators Shaheen and Ayotte, and Senator Snowe, a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, have strongly urged the Navy to develop a plan to fund infrastructure maintenance and improvements at PNSY and the nation's three other public shipyards. The final version of the fiscal year 2012 National Defense Authorization Act included a provision authored by Maine's and New Hampshire's Senators that requires the Navy to submit a modernization plan to Congress no later than September 1, 2012.

"Today's announcement shows that the Navy remains committed to significant investments in Portsmouth Naval Shipyard to ensure it will remain an important submarine repair facility and a bedrock of economic activity in Southern Maine and New Hampshire for decades to come," said the Senators in a joint statement. "We have long advocated for the Navy to address modernization needs at the shipyard, and we're pleased that with the three projects announced this month, the more than half a billion dollars worth of backlogged projects that exist at PNSY are steadily being addressed. Portsmouth's workers set the standard for quality submarine repairs, and they deserve facilities to match their level of skill."

In November 2010, the Government Accountability Office issued a report, requested by Senators Collins and Shaheen, that found that the Navy's modernization requirements at our nation's four public shipyards were underestimated. In March 2011, the Navy announced plans to invest approximately $100 million in facility upgrades and modernization at PNSY in Fiscal Year 2012. The funding, provided through the Sustainment, Restoration and Modernization budget, is to be used for energy conservation and repairs to submarine enclosures, building renovations, repair to the waterfront support facility and structural repair and consolidation of the yard's workshops.

According to the Navy, the project announced today will restore and modernize the RSCs by repairing the structural integrity of the facility, structural tie downs, and west end stairway. The project will also modernize the facility's HVAC units, electrical systems, and lighting systems. The project will result in a net reduction of energy consumption of 8812 MBTUs per year, which is equivalent to removing 73 homes from the power grid.