Austal USA, which has been building military ships for 20 years in Mobile, has opened a ship repair facility and is already attracting business.
The firm bought 15 acres of Mobile River waterfront last fall, directly across the river from its 165-acre shipbuilding facilities. The side included 3,000 feet of waterfront, a Panamax-class floating dry dock, 300,000 square feet of open air fabrication space and another 100,000 square feet of covered fabrication space.
“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.”
The new facility will have capabilities for repairs, upgrades and conversions, the company says, adding: “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.”