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Libra Group Makes Strategic Acquisition of US Shipyard

St. Johns Shipyard in Palatka, Florida. Credit: St. Johns Ship Building

Americraft Marine, a subsidiary of the Libra Group, acquired St. Johns Ship Building, a full-service marine facility specializing in constructing and repairing Jones Act-compliant vessels, according to an announcement by the Group.

The ships constructed and repaired at St. Johns Ship Building include vessels that support and service offshore wind farms.

The Jones Act is a vital piece of legislation that helps create jobs and bring profits into the American maritime industry. According to the act, ships carrying goods between two US ports must be built, owned, crewed, and flagged in America.

It is estimated that the Jones Act brings in as much as $120 million to the country’s maritime industry each year, along with countless jobs.

Americraft Marine acquisition of St. Johns Ship Building to help increase production of much-needed vessels

USA is currently in great need of Jones Act-compliant vessels, as production of these ships has been in decline in recent decades, and they will be in demand to help construct and service renewable energy infrastructure in the country.

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St. Johns Ship Building, based in Palatka, Florida near Jacksonville, is an industry leader in the construction and repair of countless vessels, including ferries, tugs, deck and tank barges, landing crafts, and general cargo vessels.

Perhaps most importantly, it is one of the few U.S. shipyards that builds vessels that support and service offshore wind farms.

The Libra Group is an international business group whose subsidiaries own and operate assets in more than fifty countries. The group is predominantly active in six sectors, including shipping, aviation, renewable energy, real estate, and hospitality. Many of these sectors are vital to the health of the global economy.

“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 U.S. competitiveness and energy security,” said Libra Group Chairman and CEO George M. Logothetis.

“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.”

Upon its acquisition of St. Johns Ship Building, Americraft Marine intends to increase its capacity by offering workforce trainings and leveraging the yard’s proven expertise with the goal of creating a best-in-class future-focused shipyard.

St. Johns Ship Building’s facilities already include a storm-protected 100-acre inland campus with a 850-ton floating drydock, making it an optimal location for the construction of high-quality vessels.

With the support of Americraft Marine, St. Johns Ship Building will be able to increase production and maintenance of offshore wind supply and support vessels as well as Jones Act-compliant ships.

“Americraft Marine is proud to acquire St. Johns Ship Building, which has the right leadership and skilled workforce to accelerate the future of U.S. shipbuilding and advance the urgent need for Jones Act-compliant, future-focused U.S. vessels,” said Omear Khalid, CEO of Americraft 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.”

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