MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – Austal USA celebrated the opening of its new shipbuilding facility on Tuesday.
It’s a steel production line that has the ability to build both steel and aluminum ships for the United States Coast Guard and Navy. The addition of steel ensures Austal will remain a major contributor to military shipbuilding.
The unveiling was attended by state and local leaders including Governor Kay Ivey.
“During WWII, Mobile workers built steel liberty ships that were critical to the war effort and now in the coming years, Austal will look to deliver steel ships again needed by the US Coast Guard and Navy,” said Governor Ivey.
The facility is not only beneficial for the military but will also support about 240 suppliers in the Port City. The Department of Defense awarded Austal $50 million to help go towards the facility and Austal matched that to get things up and running.
“This investment will ensure Austal USA will continue to grow business here in Alabama for many years to come,” said Rusty Murdaugh, the President of Austal USA.
Much of the facility is run by robotics and computerized steel machines, but employees are still needed to build the ships.
Local leaders say this is not only big for Austal, but also the city.
“I sense in my spirit that as this continues on.. building ship on time and on budget that we will be the epicenter for building ships. That we will be the model for the nation and for it to be done in Mobile is something all Mobilians I hope will embrace and enjoy the jewel that we have here,” said Mayor Sandy Stimpson.