Birdon Acquires Alabama Metal Shark's Bayou La Batre shipyard

Australia’s Birdon has reached a deal to acquire a new shipyard in Alabama.

The maritime engineering firm confirmed yesterday that Birdon America Inc. bought Metal Shark Boats’ 32-acre shipyard in Bayou La Batre, Alabama.

This acquisition brings a fully developed shipyard into Birdon’s growing portfolio of facilities throughout the US, and will allow the company to provide a further range of shipbuilding and repair services.

Birdon America said the acquisition of this shipyard will ensure the successful delivery of the Waterways Commerce Cutter (WCC) Program, a vital component of Birdon’s $1.187 billion contract to design and build 27 new vessels for the U.S. Coast Guard.

The yard’s existing workforce will transfer to Birdon and will continue to execute the current order book of repair work, the company said.

In the near term, Birdon said it plans to make significant capital outlays in the shipyard’s infrastructure, resulting in the creation of 300 new local jobs over the next two years.

Jamie Bruce, chief executive of Birdon Group said: “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.”

“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,” he said.

The fully developed shipyard is situated just minutes from the Intracoastal Waterway with direct access to the Gulf of Mexico.

It includes five steel buildings for fully self-contained fabrication and construction work, with over 1,700′ of waterfront, a 660-ton Travelift, multiple cranes, and all required equipment for the construction of steel and aluminum vessels up to 300’ in length, and 1,500 tons launch weight.