Austal to expand into building steel ships

(MOBILE, Ala.) — Austal USA, a longtime exclusive manufacturer of aluminum ships, will venture into building steel vessels after securing $50 million from the U.S. Department of Defense, WKRG News reported.

The Defense Production Act Title III Agreement is designed to maintain, protect, and expand U.S. domestic production of steel shipbuilding capability. Austal intends to use the funds to begin steel naval vessel construction at the downtown Mobile shipyard.

The agreement is part of the national response to COVID-19 and is designed to protect jobs and bolster the local economies in regions hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, as well as supporting U.S. Navy operational readiness. The funds were authorized and appropriated under the CARES Act.

Austal reports it will likely match the government funding, which would take the total investment to $100 million. Austal and the Department of Defense will develop specific uses for the funds over the next several months.

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By Professional Mariner Staff