Jennings, La.-based Leevac Shipyards LLC has acquired Quality Shipyards LLC from Tidewater Inc.
The Houma, La., yard has been renamed Leevac Shipyards Houma LLC.
Quality was a wholly owned subsidiary of New Orleans-based Tidewater. The yard has 35 acres of industrial property that features 2,500′ of waterfront along the Intracoastal Waterway. Quality has built more than 270 vessels in the last 40 years.
The repair yard features four floating drydocks with a lifting capacity of up to 4,200 tons, and it can repair marine vessels up to 15,000 hp. Quality has a full-service machine shop, and a fabrication shop with blasting and coating capabilities. The shipyard also has 100,000 sq. ft. of covered production facilities and several large track cranes.
“It makes sense that Tidewater would move that yard,” said Byron Dunn, president, Gulf States Shipbuilders Consortium, Mobile, Ala. “It was not their core business and will probably reduce their costs.”
“My message to the employees of Quality is that while Tidewater’s primary business is the ownership and operation of offshore service and supply vessels, Leevac’s core business is ship construction and ship repair,” Christian Vaccari, Leevac’s president and CEO, said in a statement announcing the sale.
Three years ago Leevac moved into the repair business with the opening of Leevac ShipyardsLake Charles (La.), near the Texas/Louisiana border. Leevac’s customers also wanted a facility closer to the Houma area because many of their shore-based operations are there. When Quality became available, Leevac was able to give its customers what they wanted and add more geographic diversity.
While the Quality yard has built many vessels over the years, it has concentrated on repair work only for the past 18 months. Vaccari said Leevac plans to make investments that will eventually allow the Quality yard to resume new construction and continue with repair work. He said that many of Quality’s current employees would be retained by Leevac.