Fincantieri starts building massive shipbuilding facility

As Fincantieri Marinette Marine prepares to start construction of the US Navy’s newest class of ships, the company marked the start of construction of the largest building in Marinette Marine history.

Fincantieri said on Tuesday that the multi-million-dollar building was part of the company’s most recent $200 million shipyard capital expansion underway in Wisconsin.

In addition to this building, there are several other projects in Marinette. The largest ship lift in the U.S. is being built along the waterfront, as well as improvements to other buildings to facilitate upcoming frigate fabrication for the US Navy.

The groundbreaking attendees included representatives from FMM, FMG, the US Navy, the Wisconsin-based construction and engineering companies Miron and Graef who are building the structure, as well as union leadership of the Boilermakers 696.

President and CEO of Fincantieri Marine Group Dario Deste said: “Building 34 is a key element to our Constellation-class frigate production. This will allow us to complete construction of two 500-feet ships at the same time inside of a massive climate-controlled facility”.

Across the bay at Marinette’s sister shipyard, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, construction began on several new buildings months ago and is progressing rapidly.

These buildings are where large portions of the frigate’s hull will be constructed, then shipped to Marinette where they will be joined together inside of Building 34 as the ships are erected.

Jan Allman, Fincantieri Marinette Marine’s CEO, added: “Locally we wanted to celebrate our continued progress with a relatively small, socially-distanced ceremony. We have a great shipyard, filled with tremendous men and women, supported by leaders who understand that tomorrow’s Navy and our regional economy will be positively impacted by the important work here in Marinette for decades to come”.

The growing Marinette shipyard employs thousands of full-time workers and related contractors who produce Navy ships, like the littoral combat ship and the newest guided-missile frigate.

It is worth reminding that Fincantieri Marinette Marine was awarded a contract in April 2020 to design and build the first Constellation-class guided-missile frigate with options for nine additional ships. The total value of the contract, if all options are exercised by the Navy is $5.5 billion.

Photo: Courtesy of Fincantieri Marinette Marine