Austal USA, an Australian-based shipbuilder, opened three new facilities at its massive boatyard along the Mobile River in Mobile, Alabama, with plans to employ at least 4,000 workers.
Recently completed expansion includes adding a 700,000 square-foot module manufacturing facility, a 59,000 square-foot assembly bay, and 108,000 square-foot office complex at the mouth of Mobile Bay. Up to 1,200 personnel will be hired to design and build U.S. Navy warships in contracts that total $5.1 billion. Approximately 2,800 employees currently work at the boatyard.
The company also offers design, construction and high-speed vessel service and repair. Governor Robert Bentley's Office said Austal USA continues to expand its service and repair capabilities. The company is well-positioned for new business with engineering, test and trials capabilities, along with a new waterfront facility all co-located on the Mobile Bay waterfront at 1 Dunlap Drive.
Bentley added "the expansion of Austal's operations in the United States is the latest indication of Alabama's growing role in international commerce. Once again, we are seeing how Alabama is a prime location for international companies to locate and expand."
"As Austal USA grows and serves additional customers, we will be putting even more people back to work. Alabama's business-friendly environment and our dedicated, talented workforce have been noticed around the world, and we appreciate Austal for the company's continued commitment to Alabama," Bentley added.
Austal USA has already made major investments in its Mobile shipyard, with more than $100 million in expansion and improvements from 2008 to 2012, the Governor's Office said. While details about incentives offered the firm were not immediately available, Austal received state, local and U.S. Navy funding to assist with its expansion.
Austal USA's Interim President and Chief Financial Officer, Brian Leathers, said "we are the proud contractors of two major U.S. Navy shipbuilding programs, and we have grown our operation to meet the needs of our clients as we promised them we would."