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Libra Group acquires Jones Act-compliant shipyard

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

Americraft Marine said the announcement comes at a time of significant need for Jones Act-compliant vessels as the production of vessels 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.

With a particular focus on the construction and maintenance of offshore wind supply and support vessels, the US-based unit of privately-owned Libra, which has over 45 years of maritime heritage through its UK-based diversified owner, Lomar Shipping, intends to further bolster capacity at St. Johns Ship Building through workforce training, leveraging the yard’s expertise with the goal of creating a “best-in-class future-focused shipyard”.

US President Joe Biden’s administration has been pushing to expand the offshore wind energy sector in the coming decade by opening new areas to development and accelerating permits as part of moves to decarbonise the economy by 2050 and also invoked in June the Defense Production Act to address the 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 US fleet, meeting government and customer needs while supporting the nation’s economic and clean energy future,” said Libra Group chairman and CEO Logothetis.

The acquisition is the first for Americraft Marine, which said it 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.

Adis Ajdin

Adis is an experienced news reporter with a background in finance, media and education. He has written across the spectrum of offshore energy and ocean industries for many years and is a member of International Federation of Journalists. Previously he had written for Navingo media group titles including Offshore Energy, Subsea World News and Marine Energy.

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