American Marinea maritime subsidiary of the Libra Groupannounced the acquisition of St. Johns Ship Buildinga full-service marine facility specializing in constructing and repairing Jones Act-compliant vessels, including those used to service offshore wind turbines.
Based in Palatka, Fla., near Jacksonville, St. Johns Ship Building constructs and repairs a wide variety of steel and aluminum vessels, including ferries, tugs, cargo deck and tank barges, landing crafts, and general vessels. Significantly, it is also one of the few US shipyards that builds vessels that support and service offshore wind farms, company officials said.
Americraft Marine is a subsidiary of the Libra Group, a privately-owned international business group whose subsidiaries own and operate assets in more than 50 countries. The announcement comes at a time of significant need for Jones Act-compliant vessels.
The production of vessels in the US has declined in recent years, according to a statement announcing the acquisition. In addition, significant shipbuilding capacity will be needed over the next 10-15 years to support the upcoming demand for vessels that construct and service renewable energy infrastructure.
On June 6, US President Joe Biden invoked the Defense Production Act to address the urgent need for clean energy technologies made in America. This acquisition, long in the works, leverages the proven capabilities of St. Johns Ship Building in constructing offshore wind servicing vessels, along with Libra Group’s global experience in renewable energy and deep maritime heritage.
With facilities including a storm-protected 100-acre inland campus with a 850-ton floating drydock, St. Johns Ship Building is positioned to accelerate production of Jones Act-compliant vessels, particularly the construction and maintenance of offshore wind supply and support vessels, the statement said. Americraft Marine intends to further bolster capacity at St. Johns Ship Building through workforce trainings, leveraging the yard’s proven expertise with the goal of creating a best-in-class future-focused shipyard.
“As a group that has over 45 years of maritime heritage through our original subsidiary Lomar Shipping, as well as significant renewable energy experience through four global clean energy subsidiaries, we are proud to invest in the future of US competitiveness and energy security,” Libra Group Chairman and CEO George M. Logothetis said in the prepared statement. “With seasoned leaders who have decades of experience in the maritime industry and existing client relationships, Americraft Marine and St. Johns Ship Building will build upon and bolster the US fleet, meeting government and customer needs while supporting the nation’s economic and clean energy future. ”
The shipbuilding sector is critical to America’s strong industrial economy and provides economic opportunity to coastal communities through long-term jobs. It is also vital to US energy independence, which has become more crucial due to ongoing trade tensions, the geopolitical landscape and economic climate, the statement said.
“Americraft Marine is proud to acquire St. Johns Ship Building, which has the right leadership and skilled workforce to accelerate the future of US shipbuilding and advance the urgent need for Jones Act-compliant, future-focused US vessels,” said Omear Khalid, CEO of American Marine. “Our goal is simple: to build a best-in-class Jones Act-compliant shipyard. Americraft Marine will provide stable industrial jobs, invest in workforce training, and leverage St. Johns’ proven expertise as well as the historical maritime heritage of the Libra Group.”
The acquisition is the first for Americraft Marine, which anticipates future organic and acquisition-based growth that addresses the dire need for modern, state-of-the-art vessels, including those that are eco-friendly as more Jones Act-compliant vessels age. out of work. The company expects future expansions to prioritize investments that are sustainable and position the US for leadership in the clean energy future by building and maintaining vessels that support renewable energy projects.
The Libra Group is a privately owned international business group whose subsidiaries own and operate assets in more than 50 countries. The group is predominantly active in six sectors, including several vital to the global economy. The sectors include shipping, aviation, renewable energy, real estate and hospitality, as well as selected diversified investments. The group has also created 10 social responsibility programs that have a positive impact on the lives of many people around the world. The Libra Group is committed to supporting a more sustainable and equitable future, including harnessing human ingenuity to help mitigate climate change while promoting diversity and inclusion throughout the company’s global footprint.
Americraft Marine was launched with the sole purpose to support and strengthen the US shipbuilding industry and infrastructure with the goal to build St. Johns Ship Building as a center of excellence in Jones Act shipbuilding. This includes building on its 15 years of experience to help grow the number of stable, skilled jobs in the shipbuilding business, while advancing the US economy, competitiveness, and clean energy future, the statement said.