Portland-based vessel fabrication business Gunderson Marine has been awarded a $43.5 million contract by the U.S. Army to develop equipment for research in the Antarctic.
Gunderson has been retained to design and build a steel pier barge to support operations at McMurdo Station for the National Science Foundation’s U.S. Antarctic Program.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work on this critically important project with great organizations like the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the National Science Foundation,” Gunderson Marine President Marvin “Dee” Burch said. “This is only the beginning of Gunderson Marine diversifying into other markets since the rail car operation is no longer operating at the facility.”
Three Oregon elected officials, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley with U.S. Representative Suzanne Bonamici, all welcomed the announcement in a joint Nov. 27 statement.
“The Antarctic is one of the least explored regions in the world, and this contract between Gunderson Marine and the National Science Foundation matches a mainstay Portland business with cutting-edge scientific research,” Wyden said. “This good news means jobs locally and groundbreaking research globally.”
“From Northwest Portland to the South Pole, this partnership between Gunderson Marine and the National Science Foundation will boost the local economy and lead to a greater understanding of one of the earth’s final frontiers,” Merkley said. “It’s exciting to see a longtime Oregon business take the helm on this opportunity.”
“This new contract between Gunderson Marine and the National Science Foundation will support research in the Antarctic and advance the development of vessels equipped to handle the extreme conditions of the region,” Bonamici said.