Austal opens $100m steel shipyard

Perth-based international shipbuilder Austal has opened the company’s new state-of-the-art steel shipbuilding plant in Mobile, Alabama (pictured), enabling the simultaneous production of aluminum and steel hulled vessels.

The first ships to be built at the new steelworks will be two Navajo-class salvage, salvage and tow (T-ATS) vessels for the U.S. Navy, which were placed under a $144 million contract. US dollars in October 2021.

The US government has paid half the cost of the new Steel Shipyard facility, which complements Austal’s current operation by building two classes of aluminum multi-hull ships for the US Navy.

Austal Limited CEO Paddy Gregg said the opening of the new steel plant marks a significant development in Austal USA’s shipbuilding capabilities.

Gregg said, “Austal USA is now ready to begin building steel vessels for the United States Navy, including Navajoclass Towing, Salvage, and Rescue Ships (T-ATS), and can offer this expanded shipbuilding capability. to new customers such as the United States. States Coast Guard.

“Our warmest congratulations go out to Rusty Murdaugh and the entire team at Austal USA on establishing this impressive new facility so quickly and efficiently.”

Austal USA President Rusty Murdaugh said the addition of steel capability is a game-changer because it opens up the ability to support customers with high-quality vessels.

Murdaugh said, “Austal USA will operate our steel production line using the same lean manufacturing principles we have honed over the past 15 years building LCS and EPFs for the Navy.

“This process has resulted in Austal’s reputation for delivering quality vessels, on time and within budget, vessel after vessel.

“We will bring that same reliable production capability to building steel ships.”

The new steel fabrication plant includes the latest computerized and robotized steel processing equipment to meet all current and future demands of the United States Navy and United States Coast Guard.

A 6,000 square meter stockyard will be used for raw steel handling and a 2,000 square meter painting facility will allow painting and sandblasting simultaneously in two separate cells, or the two cells can be combined to allow to paint super-modules.

The company has seven aluminum vessels currently under construction at the Mobile, Alabama shipyard.

Photo: Austal USA/Mobile, Alabama

Subscribe for free to our @AuManufacturing newsletter here.

Melvin B. Baillie