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Austal USA contracts with local steel provider SSAB for U.S. Navy ship construction

Mobile-based shipbuilder Austal USA on Monday announced that it had contracted with Alabama steelmaker SSAB to support the construction of new U.S. Navy Ships.

The work conducted will provide steel under Austal’s award from the Navy to build steel-hulled Towing, Salvage, and Rescue ships (T-ATS). According to the company, the partnership will directly support hundreds of jobs in the greater Mobile area.

SSAB, located in Mobile County, will provide Austal with various strength and sized steel plating, which will be capable of being designed for the construction of support ships and potential combat ships for the U.S. military.

Austal USA president Rusty Murdaugh noted the partnership’s efficiency as the two companies are based in close proximity to one another.

“SSAB not only provides us with quality steel, but also great flexibility due to its location adjacent to us here in Mobile, Ala.,” Murdaugh advised. “The ability to work quickly and in-person with them on current and future steel requirements by the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard is an asset to Austal that will support our business and economic growth in our community.”

SSAB Americas senior vice president and chief commercial officer Jeff Moskaluk hailed the collaboration as being beneficial to the region’s economic growth.

“Austal USA is a respected and valued partner to SSAB Americas,” declared Moskaluk. “Our participation in such an important and vital project, that will strengthen both the economic and national security of our country, makes this partnership even more meaningful. We are proud to work closely with Austal USA and demonstrate the service, quality and value that is delivered from an interconnected and local supply chain here in Alabama.”

Austal USA in March 2020 broke ground on its new steel manufacturing line to meet the federal government’s demand for steel-constructed ships. The shipbuilder advised that the new line in April will become operational as it is poised to begin construction on the T-ATS program.

Additionally, future Navy and U.S. Coast Guard steel programs will be supported by Austal’s steel production line.

U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl (R-Mobile) applauded the industrial alliance and asserted that the two South Alabama companies would serve to meet United States’ national security priorities.

“Today’s announcement of the partnership between Austal USA and SSAB is a big win for the steel industry and shipbuilding industry in south Alabama,” proclaimed Carl.” SSAB’s quality steel and close location to Austal USA will greatly enhance Austal USA’s ability to construct vessels quickly enough to meet the current and future national security needs of the United States.”

The congressman concluded, “This partnership is great news for our local workforce and economy, plus it will strengthen the national security footprint of the United States. I’m proud to represent Austal USA and SSAB, and I look forward to their continued success for years to come.”

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL