Austal USA Reports Booming Ship Repair Business on New West Campus


Written by

Nick blenkey

A commercial vessel; leaves the Austal USA West Campus dry dock.

Following its September 2020 acquisition of an additional waterfront along the Mobile River in Mobile, Alabama, Austal USA was quick to establish a ship repair facility that it says has experienced a meteoric growth.

“Almost immediately after the news broke Austal USA had purchased the additional waterfront property, we were inundated with calls from commercial captains seeking to return to Mobile to have their vessels serviced,” said Mike. Bell, senior vice president of operations at Austal USA. “We are delighted with all of the positive feedback we have received from our ship repair customers so far. “

The Austal acquisition included 15 acres of waterfront property covering nearly 3,000 linear feet of waterfront jetty space, a certified 20,000 ton Panamax-class floating dry dock, a 300,000 square foot outdoor manufacturing area and 100,000 square foot covered manufacturing facility just 30 miles from the Gulf of Mexico.

While Austal USA is best known for the advanced manufacturing of high-tech Navy vessels, word is quickly spreading that the company also has a high-performing ship repair operation.

The Austal West Campus repair facility is located across the river from Austal USA’s headquarters, which spans 165 acres, providing deep-water mooring access for ships up to 1000 feet, advanced manufacturing capabilities including friction welder, CNC machines, CNC cutting tables and carpentry, machine shop, and electrical and pipe shops. The repair facility also offers heavy lift capacity with mobile cranes, overhead cranes and wing wall cranes that span the length of the 668-foot dry dock.

The services provided by Austal’s mobile ship repair operation range from conversions and upgrades to advanced ship repair. The machine shop and manufacturing areas are fully equipped with cranes, lathes and CNC plasma cutters. Other technical services offered to the company’s service customers include full service detailed design capability, 3D modeling, field technical support and dimensional accuracy control.

“At Austal USA, we’ve always taken great pride in the quality and value of the new ships we build,” said Bell. “We now apply the same pride in quality and value that we bring to our ship repair customers in our dry dock and repair yard. “

Austal USA has earned a reputation as one of the safest shipyards in the industry, a feature that extends to the new service operation. The Austal West Campus, ISO 9001: 2015 certified, is operated by a highly skilled and experienced shipbuilding and repair management team with a focus on safety and customer satisfaction, maintaining a strong professional relationship with all applicable regulatory bodies.