FEBRUARY 5, 2013 — The "save our shipyard" campaign may yet succeed in seeing employment continuing at what Huntington Ingalls Industries (NYSE:HII) now refers to simply as its Avondale subsidiary (with the word "shipyard" no longer used).
Huntington Ingalls announced today that it is opening an office in Houston, Texas, for business development efforts to pursue opportunities in the energy infrastructure market for Avondale.
"We have a great workforce at Avondale with unique engineering and manufacturing capabilities that have been demonstrated for many decades," said Mike Petters, HII's president and chief executive officer. "Additionally, these skilled men and women are located in the heart of a region where there is more manufacturing demand than the current suppliers can meet, particularly in the energy markets. Coupling this talent with our world-class facilities leads us to believe we have everything in place at Avondale to excel in this market."
Chris Kastner, HII's corporate vice president and general manager, corporate development, who is leading this effort for Avondale, added, "We are in active discussions with respected companies in the oil and gas infrastructure market. We've satisfied ourselves that the engineering and construction elements of these projects are very comparable to shipbuilding, and we are working very hard, both internally and with prospective customers, evaluating and competing for new opportunities. These upcoming large projects should be made in America by American craftsmen and craftswomen."
Avondale will transition into this market by building upon the shipyard's 30-plus years of modular engineering and construction expertise and nearly 75 years of experience in heavy manufacturing. Located on the Mississippi River near New Orleans, the 268-acre facility has the potential to employ up to 10,000 highly skilled craft men and women.