Page 23: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (January 2014)
Ship Repair & Conversion Edition
www.marinelink.com 23 trying to focus the school system on rein- vigorating the blue collar workforce at a junior high level.”
One key to fi nding and retaining good people is maintaining a steady log of business, and with the addition of the new construction business BAE Systems aims to do just that. The formula to date appears successful: when Rhoades came onboard three years ago when BAE Sys- tems acquired the yard, the workforce was just shy of 500; today the workforce is 850 full time and 200 temporary em- ployees.
New Emphasis on Newbuild
While BAE Systems continues to make a number of tangible investments in its
Mobile facility, perhaps the most signifi - cant was the resurrection of its new con- struction business, bringing back Gene
Caldwell as its director of new construc- tion. Caldwell is well suited for the task at hand, given the ripe markets before him and the high level of investment from
BAE Systems. “I still see the PSV and oil and the en- ergy circuit driving business,” Caldwell said. “The Macondo incident effectively drained everything in the Gulf, so a lot of companies are in rebuilding mode.”
Newbuild targets for Caldwell and his colleagues are numerous, from vessels for the transportation of crude oil, includ- ing ATBs and tankers. Also, the market for multi-purpose vessels, well interven- tion and well ops, as well as ROV support could be strong, according to Caldwell. “We thought the ATB building was done for awhile, but today we are fi elding quite a few inquiries. (In fact) our new- build sweet spot is the ATB market,” said
Caldwell. “ATBs based on our history of building them here; PSVs fall off nicely from there, and then the specialty vessels, with our diversity of labor talent.”
While the current newbuild orderbook is diverse and impressive, the core re- volves around energy, specifi cally the shale gas boom and its dramatic impact on the business and that of energy trans- portation in general. “They get it (oil) down to the Gulf of Mexico refi neries (from the pipeline) and the refi neries can’t handle all of the volume, hence the need for the tankers to transport it to other refi neries when it comes out of the pipe- line,” said Caldwell.
It is the newbuild side of the business that essentially is “carrying the water” today, as repair business dips as vessels stay in the market working. Current new construction business includes: • Two dump scows for Great Lakes Dredge & Dock • Trailing arm dredge for Weeks Marine • A second Platform Supply Vessel for
GulfMark.: The 300-Class DP2 PSVs for
Gulfmark were designed by MMC Ship
Design and Marine Consulting, Ltd. of
Poland and will be based on similar PSV currently under construction for Gulf-
Mark abroad. The vessels will be U.S. fl agged and will support the anticipated future demand in the Gulf of Mexico off- shore market and other areas around the world and will be delivered in 2014.
Balancing newbuild and repair in the same shipyard is the task of Gene Caldwell,
Director of New Construction (left) and Vic Rhoades, Director, BAE Systems’ Mo- bile, Alabama shipyard.
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