Austal USA Breaks Ground for Steel

Austal USA
Rendering shows new steel shipbuilding facilities alongside Austal’s current aluminum shipbuilding bays on the riverfront in downtown Mobile. Image courtesy of Austal USA

Austal USA broke ground Friday for a steel shipbuilding line adjacent to its aluminum shipbuilding facilities. The company — Mobile’s largest industrial employer — expects to be working on steel ships by April 2022.

“This addition of steel capability ensures Austal USA will remain a major contributor to the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base,” the firm said in a media release.

“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,” said U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl, who represents Alabama’s first district in Congress.

Austal’s interim president Rusty Murdaugh added, “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.”

Hearkening back to Mobile’s shipbuilding heritage, the company said, “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.

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Murdaugh concluded: “Each time we have invested in our facilities, our customers have seen a greater return on their investment. 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.”

Read about a recent leadership change at Austal USA here. 

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