Palmer Johnson yard in Georgia sold

An oil company recently purchased a former Palmer Johnson shipyard located on the Savannah River in Georgia for $10 million.

Colonial Oil will use the additional river frontage to ease space constraints it faces in loading barges used to fuel ships in the harbor, the Savannah Morning News reports. It also plans to repair and upgrade the facility, which boasts one of the largest dry docks on the East Coast, in order to lease it to a marine business.

"The property enables us to load barges at a berth that will not be in conflict with the shipping traffic," Bill Baker, Colonial's vice president of operations, told the newspaper. "As for the shipyard, we're not really sure what we'll do with it long-term. But we know it has value as a marine repair facility."

The facility has been largely dormant since its most recent owner, Global Ship Systems, went under in 2007. The locally owned group purchased the shipyard from Palmer Johnson in 2004 for $14 million, but equipment failures doomed the enterprise and its lender foreclosed on the property in late 2007.

The lender leased the property to a small local company, Savannah MegaYacht, in April 2009. That group, which included veteran shipbuilder Frank Bomberger, discontinued its operations three months ago after the property went under contract to Colonial, according to the report.

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