Alaska Ship and Drydock has been qualified to compete for up to $46 million worth of work for the U.S. Army, such as drydock services, cleaning, painting, repairs and modifications to U.S. Army vessels.

The three-year contract means that Army ships, active and reserve, that serve on the West Coast could come to Ketchikan for repair work.

Director of Shipyard Development Doug Ward said Wednesday that the shipyard went through a long process to become qualified, including a site visit about a month ago from U.S. Army representatives.

“I guess it was last fall, we began putting together a proposal in response to the Army’s solicitation to shipyards, West Coast and Hawaii shipyards, that would be interested in doing Army vessel maintenance and repair work,” he said.

Ward said the shipyard was given notice that its proposal for a master vessel agreement was approved by the department of the Army for award of an indefinite delivery indefinite quantity contract for West Coast Army vessel repairs.

“Rather than having to go through all of the qualifying process for each contract, in this case we have three years with close to $50 million worth of work a year that we can compete for,” he said.

Ward said that amount represents the potential annual job orders for which all qualified shipyards could compete.

“If there’s a project with a fairly compact scope of work, or small scope of work, right next to one of the other Vigor yards, then we probably wouldn’t bid it,” he said.

Alaska Ship and Drydock is a subsidiary of Vigor Industrial LLC, which owns Vigor Marine LLC. Vigor Marine operates three shipyards in Washington state, in Tacoma, Seattle and Everett; and one in Portland, Oregon. Ward said the Vigor shipyards potentially could work together on a single project.

“That’s another big advantage of having this regional network of shipyards,” he said.

According to Ward, the contract authorizes the Army to issue orders for up to about $46 million the first year; about $49 million the second year; and about $52.5 million for the third year.

Ward says it’s good news, although not as good as a rumor that had been circulating that the Ketchikan shipyard was awarded all of the the work.

“We’re all real proud of being able to qualify for doing Army work,” he said. “But it’s not like we get a $150 million contract to do in three years. We’ll have to compete for every part of that. So it’s probably worth having a glass or two of champagne, but maybe not the whole bottle.”