Written by Nick Blenkey
In a move that is expected to bring hundreds of jobs to Jacksonville, Fla., Fincantieri Marine Systems North America is to expand its ship repair operations on the U.S. East Coast. Aimed at both commercial and government vessels, the focus of the effort will be Commodores Point, Jacksonville, where the company will bring in a large dry dock.
“We are investing millions of dollars in waterfront improvements, including bringing in a large dry dock, which will allow us to be a top-tier marine repair operation.” said Ryan Smith, Fincantieri Marine System’s president and CEO. “The dry dock will be U.S. Navy-certified, which will enable us to repair and maintain Navy vessels in addition to our work on commercial and Coast Guard vessels.”
In August, Fincantieri received approval from the Navy to participate in repair and maintenance delivery orders on the Freedom-class littoral combat ships currently homeported in nearby Mayport, Fla. In October, it received approval to compete for work on the remaining Mayport surface fleet.
With the company’s expansion in northeast Florida, Smith plans to employ more than 300 men and women over the next three years. These jobs include positions in pipefitting, shipfitting, welding, electrical, outfitting, preservation, and mechanical specializations.
Starting in early 2022, the company will be open to provide services to small to medium-sized commercial vessels at the Commodores Point facility. Although the large dry dock will not be operational until 2023, Fincantieri will be available for top-side work on larger vessels pier side.