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VIEDA releases shipyard feasibility study, new avenues for potential for economic growth in the U.S. Virgin Islands revealed

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands – May 24, 2024 — A recent feasibility study, commissioned by the Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority (VIEDA), confirms that it is feasible to establish another shipyard in the U.S. Virgin Islands to locally repair commercial and leisure vessels.  The shipyard will be constructed in the South Shore Trade Zone (SSTZ), which stretches approximately 4.5 miles along the coast of St. Croix and one mile inland.  

This feasibility study was completed on May 9, 2024 by First Marine International (FMI), a company of global consulting engineering firm Royal HaskoningDHV (RHDHV) with support from Tractus, a business strategy consulting and operations management organization.  Its primary goal was to discover whether there are opportunities for a shipyard facility to be constructed that can help increase revenues, spur supporting business activities, and expand economic growth within the Territory.  

According to Wayne L. Biggs Jr., chief executive officer of the VIEDA, this shipyard is poised to be a viable opportunity for economic development in the USVI.  “The study found that ship repair is a labor-intensive industry, which sustains employment and economic benefits than general maritime activities like shipping,” said VIEDA CEO Biggs Jr.   “Shipyards also create significant direct and indirect income and multiplier effects, supporting local jobs and the economy. The findings of this study will enhance the South Shore Trade Zone’s attractiveness for investment in the U.S. Virgin Islands, particularly on St. Croix,” added VIEDA CEO Biggs Jr.

First Marine International (FMI), which was selected through a Request for Proposal bidding process, recommended three (3) options for docking configuration that considered upper vessel length limits of 164 ft, 328 ft., and 574 ft. Depending on the configuration, the facility has the potential to generate revenue ranging from $39 million to $73 million per year for the USVI.

The study also recommended that the VIEDA considers additional studies to further validate the capital expenditures and investigate the opportunities for alternative funding sources, prior to developing a formal business case with financial models and Pre-FEED (Front End Engineering Design) for the facility.  

To learn more about the findings for the shipyard facility, the feasibility study can be retrieved from the South Shore Trade Zone website at .  For more information, send an email to


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