Austal USA will be located next to Naval Base San Diego (Marine Group Boat Works photo)
The Maritime Executive
Austal USA, which has been a U.S. defense contractor since 2004, plans to develop a new ship repair facility located in San Diego Bay adjacent to the U.S. Naval Base. Astral plans to use the facility to focus on ship repair for U.S. Navy, Military Sealift Command, and U.S. Coast Guard ships.
The new repair yard will be located on the site of the current National City facility operated by Marine Group Boat Works. Austral USA received approval from the San Diego Port of Commissioners to assume the lease for the 15-acre site in the Port of San Diego. Austral says that it has now entered into a 45-day exclusive period to close the agreement with Marine Group reporting that the deal is scheduled to close in mid-December 2021.
Austal USA will establish a full-service ship repair capability providing maintenance and modernization for small surface combatants, autonomous vehicles, and other vessels. The site will include a dry dock optimized to execute availabilities on littoral combat ships and other small surface combatants. Services will include technical and material support, topside work, and dry docking availabilities. A newly-built dry dock will be installed at the site designed specifically to handle small surface combatants and other small to medium-size ships.
“This investment marks a major milestone in Austal’s focus on growing our services business and anchors our commitment to servicing Navy, Military Sealift, and Coast Guard ships in the INDO-PACOM region,” said Austal USA President Rusty Murdaugh.
Marine Group Boat Works will shift its focus to the growing superyacht industry while continuing to service commercial vessels, with emphasis on the high-speed ferry and tug and barge industries. In addition, MGBW will continue their specialty government craft services while Austal will be focused on repairs for larger government ships.
MGBW President Todd Roberts reports that the company will use this as an opportunity to increase the capacity of its Chula Vista facility. They reported a 75 percent increase in commercial vessel revenue since 2018 while experiencing a 141 percent growth in their superyacht services in the last 13 years.