Alabama-based shipbuilder Austal has received $50mn in federal assistance to help support its shipbuilding operations and offset the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company plans to utilize the initial investment in the development of additional capacity for steel naval vessel construction.
Austal has plans to match the investment by $50mn for a total of $100mn at its Mobile, Alabama shipyard. Capital expansion projects will begin in June 2020 and proceed for about two years. The funding was announced in mid-2020 as part of the US Department of Defenses’ (DOD) Defense Production Act Title III that allocated $187mn towards US defense-critical projects affecting aircraft, shipbuilding, and clothing and textiles as a component of the larger Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
DOD spokesman Lt Colonel Mike Andrews stated that the investment ensures critical capabilities in Austal’s support to the US Navy’s operational readiness. Austal USA is a subsidiary of the global shipbuilding company Austal, based in Australia.