Libra Group Buys Florida Shipyard to Build Jones Act Offshore Wind Vessels

Libra Group, through its subsidiary Americraft Marine, has acquired Florida-based St. Johns Ship Building, a full-service marine facility specialised in building and repairing Jones Act-compliant vessels, including those in the offshore wind sector.

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 an 850-tonne floating drydock, St. Johns Ship Building is one of the few US shipyards that builds vessels that support and service offshore wind farms, said Americraft Marine.

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According to Americraft Marine, the announcement comes at a time of significant need for Jones Act-compliant vessels as the production in the US has declined in recent years and significant shipbuilding capacity will be needed over the next 10 to 15 years to support the upcoming demand for vessels that construct and service renewable energy infrastructure.

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, said the company.

The Biden Administration has been pushing to further develop the offshore wind sector in the coming decade by opening new areas to development and accelerating permits as part of the plan to decarbonise the economy by 2030 and also invoked the Defense Production Act in June to address the urgent need for clean energy technologies made in America.

“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 U.S. fleet, meeting government and customer needs while supporting the nation’s economic and clean energy future”, said George M. Logothetis, Libra Group Chairman and CEO.

The acquisition is the first for Americraft Marine, which anticipates future organic and acquisition-based growth that addresses the need for modern vessels, including those that are eco-friendly as more Jones Act-compliant vessels age out of work.

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Photo: St Johns Ship Building