• Credit: Birdon
    Credit: Birdon

Birdon America has acquired Metal Shark Boats 32-acre shipyard in Bayou La Batre, Alabama, as of 31 January.

This shipyard is fully developed, including five steel buildings for fully self-contained fabrication and construction work, and fronts a dredged deepwater inlet. The acquisition will assist in the successful delivery of the Waterways Commerce Cutter (WCC) Program, a component of Birdon’s $1.187 billion contract to design and build 27 new vessels for the US Coast Guard.

The shipyard is situated just minutes from the Intracoastal Waterway with direct access to the Gulf of Mexico, and includes over 500 metres of waterfront, a 600 tonne Travelift, multiple cranes, and all required equipment for the construction of steel and aluminium vessels up to 90 metres in length and 1300 tonnes launch weight.

“The investment in this facility will not only ensure we deliver on our promise to the US Coast Guard, but it will also provide an opportunity for our subcontract partners in southern Alabama to build and install all components of these vessels in one location,” said Jamie Bruce, Birdon Group CEO.

“I am extremely grateful to Metal Shark CEO Chris Allard and his team for collaborating diligently with us, in a short period, to complete this deal.”

As part of the acquisition, Metal Shark’s existing workforce will transfer to Birdon, and will continue to execute the current order book of repair work.

In the near term, Birdon stated that they plan to make significant capital outlays in the shipyard’s infrastructure to provide positive growth to the region’s economy. A direct result will be the creation of 300 new jobs in the area over the next two years.

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