The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, the Alaska Department of Transportation and the Ketchikan Gateway Borough announced Thursday that they have signed a Memorandum of Agreement to build a new moorage facility in Ketchikan.

The facility will provide berth space for Alaska Marine Highway System ferries, with space left over for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration vessels.

AMHS now moors its ferries next to the Ketchikan Shipyard. The announcement said the new facility will be at Ward Cove, allowing the shipyard to expand and potentially add jobs.

NOAA also could move the research vessel Fairweather and its approximately 40 member crew to Ketchikan, where they are supposed to be homeported. Lack of an appropriate berth here has kept the vessel outside of Alaska during its winter layup.

Under terms of the MOA, AIDEA and the borough will work with DOT to build the moorage facility.