Shipping and Logistics

New Steel Shipbuilding Facility Open For Business: Austal USA

Written by David Schollaert

Shipbuilder Austal USA has officially opened its new steel manufacturing line to build steel ships for the US Navy and Coast Guard. The ultra-modern steel shipbuilding facility in Mobile, Ala., enables the simultaneous production of both aluminium and steel hulled ships, the company said.

Known for its construction of aluminum vessels, the shipbuilder’s new 118-throusand-square-foot manufacturing facility will utilize high-strength and corrosion-resistant steel plate to construct steel ships, enabling the company to bid and build for a wider variety of contracts.

Austal 2“We are so excited to see our plans to add steel to our capabilities come to fruition. The addition of steel capability is a game changer as it opens up our capability to support the US Navy, US Coast Guard and other customers with high-quality ships,” Austal USA president Rusty Murdaugh said.

First up, a new ship for the United States Navy. Under a $114 million contract with the US Navy, Austal will build two new 80-meter (252.5 foot) Navajo-class steel towing, salvage and rescue ships (T-ATS) at the new steel facility.

Financing for the new steel shipbuilding facility was provided in part by a Defense Production Act (DPA) Title III Agreement between the US Department of Defense and Austal USA. The agreement, valued at $50 million, was matched with an additional investment of $50 million by Austal USA to complete the project.

The facility has the latest in automation and robotic steel processing equipment to handle all current and future demands of the US Navy and the US Coast Guard. It includes a 64,000-square-foot stock yard and a 21,000-square-foot paint facility, the company said.

“Austal USA is now ready to start constructing steel ships for the US Navy … and can offer this expanded shipbuilding capability to new customers such as the United States Coast Guard,” Austual Ltd CEO Paddy Gregg said. “Our warmest congratulations go to Rusty Murdaugh and the entire Austal USA team after establishing this impressive new facility so quickly and efficiently.”

By David Schollaert,

David Schollaert

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