Austal Limited (Austal) is pleased to announce that construction has officially commenced on Austal USA’s new steel shipbuilding facility, in Mobile, Alabama. Austal USA hosted a ceremony at the company’s shipyard on Friday 26th March 2021, to mark the start of construction of a new steel shipbuilding facility that will provide the capability to meet increasing demand by the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard for steel vessels. Construction on the facility is expected to be complete by April 2022. The ceremony’s attendees included Congressman for Alabama’s First District Jerry Carl, Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson, Mobile County Commissioner Merceria Ludgood, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey’s Chief of Staff Jo Bonner, and Austal USA Interim President, Rusty Murdaugh.
Speaking at the ceremony, Interim Austal USA President Rusty Murdaugh said “As demand for the greater and larger Navy and Coast Guard fleets grows, Austal USA is investing to meet those changing requirements. We’re investing in our people, we’re investing in our processes and we’re investing in our facilities and capabilities.”
Austal Chief Executive Officer Paddy Gregg said,”T he ground-breaking was a significant milestone in Austal USA’s history and a strategic development in the shipyards capability. Austal USA’s new steel shipbuilding facility puts us in a prime position to target numerous major steel shipbuilding programs included in the U.S. Navy’s shipbuilding plan.” “Today’s ground-breaking marks the start of construction of facilities that will enable Austal USA to build the next generation of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guards’ ships.”
Congressman for Alabama’s First District, Jerry Carl said “This world-class steel manufacturing line is a treasure for the Gulf Coast, the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard, that will provide a much needed boost to the defense industrial base and our Nation’s defense.”
In June 2020 Austal announced the intention to spend approximately US$10 0million on building a steel shipbuilding capability co-funded by the United States Government, to provide additional capability alongside Austal’s existing aluminium construction operations at Mobile, Alabama. Austal USA will bring its proven lean manufacturing processes and facility design to the steel shipbuilding market, having delivered 24 ships to the U.S. Navy in the last nine years, including the Independence-class Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and Spearhead-class Expeditionary Fast Transport (T-EPF).
Just as Austal helped turn Mobile into the Nation’s premier location for construction of aluminum ships, the company is poised to do the same for steel. During World War II, residents of Mobile built steel Liberty ships that were critical to the war effort. In the coming years, Austal will look to build and deliver steel ships needed by the U.S. Coast Guard and Navy. Austal USA will bring its proven lean manufacturing processes and facility design to the steel shipbuilding market. These processes have helped deliver 24 ships to the Navy in the last nine years. No other shipbuilder comes close to matching that performance.