Austal USA breaks ground for steel manufacturing line

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Image: Austal USA

Positioning the company to start steel production in April 2022, Austal USA yesterday broke ground on its new steel manufacturing line.

“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,” Congressman for Alabama’s first district Jerry Carl said.

“As demand for the greater and larger Navy and Coast Guard fleets grows, Austal USA is investing to meet those changing requirements,” Rusty Murdaugh, the company’s interim president, said. “We’re investing in our people, we’re investing in our processes and we’re investing in our facilities and capabilities.”

The groundbreaking follows Austal USA’s purchase of waterfront land, buildings, and an existing dry dock along the Mobile River previously owned by World Marine of Alabama, an indirect subsidiary of Modern American Recycling and Repair Services of Alabama (M.A.R.R.S.).

In June of last year, the Department of Defense (DoD) entered into a $50 million Defense Production Act Title III agreement with Austal USA, using funds authorized and appropriated under the CARES Act. At that time, parent company Austal Limited, said its intent was “to use the funds to commence investment in the development of additional capacity for steel naval vessel construction at the Mobile shipyard.”

“Each time we have invested in our facilities, our customers have seen a greater return on their investment,” Murdaugh said. “The steel ships that will come off this line will be the best, most efficient and most affordable steel ships in the Coast Guard and Navy fleets.”

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