Following its September 2020 acquisition of additional waterfront along the Mobile River in Mobile, Ala., Austal USA was quick to established a ship repair facility that, it reports, has had a booming response.
“Almost immediately after word got out Austal USA had purchased the additional waterfront property, we were inundated with calls from commercial captains looking to return to Mobile to have their ships serviced,” Austal USA’s senior vice president of operations Mike Bell said. “We are pleased with all of the positive feedback we have received from our ship repair customers thus far.”
Austal’s acquisition included 15 acres of waterfront property spanning almost 3,000 linear feet of waterfront pier space, a 20,000-ton certified Panamax-class floating dry dock, a 300,000 square foot outside fabrication area, and 100,000 square feet of covered fabrication facilities all just 30 miles from the Gulf of Mexico.
While Austal USA is best known for advanced manufacturing of high tech Navy ships, word is rapidly getting out that the company also has a highly-capable ship repair operation.
The Austal West Campus repair facility is ocated across the river from Austal USA’s 165-acre corporate headquarters providing access to deep water berthing for vessels up to 1,000 feet, advanced manufacturing capabilities including a friction stir welder, CNC machines, CNC cutting tables, and a carpenter shop, machine shop and electrical and pipe shops. The repair facility also offers heavy-lifting capability with mobile cranes, overhead cranes and wing wall cranes that travel the length of the 668-foot dry dock.
Services provided by Austal’s Mobile ship repair operation range from conversions and upgrades to advanced ship repair. The machine shop and fabrication areas are fully equipped with overhead cranes, lathes, and CNC plasma cutters. Other technical services offered to the company’s service clients include full-service detail design capability, 3D modeling, field engineering support and dimensional accuracy control.
“At Austal USA we have always taken great pride in the quality and value of the new ships we build,” said Bell. “We are now applying that same pride in the quality and value we provide our ship repair clients at our dry dock and repair yard.”
Austal USA has earned a reputation as one of the safest shipyards in the industry, a characteristic that extends to the new service operation. The ISO 9001:2015-certified Austal West Campus is operated by a highly qualified, experienced ship repair and construction management team, focused on safety and customer satisfaction, maintaining a strong professional relationship with all applicable regulatory agencies.