The owner of Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay has become the largest ship builder in the world.
Fincantieri, an Italy-based company, brought Bay Ship into the fold when it acquired the Manitowoc Marine Group in 2008. With the recent acquisition of a Korean ship yard, Fincantieri is now recognized as the number one ship builder on the planet.
Locally, the Sturgeon Bay yard faces a bright future, according to Bay Shipbuilding Production Manager Stewart Fett, who spoke during a recent meeting of the Sturgeon Bay Rotary Club.
The Great Lakes winter fleet brings the total number of vessels in Sturgeon Bay under repairs -- or waiting for them -- to at least a dozen with more to come.
According to Fett, each ship in Sturgeon Bay has a market value of between $100 million and $120 million.
The re-conditioning and re-powering of ships taking place in Sturgeon Bay means an additional 250 to 300 jobs during the winter. Those workers come from well beyond the immediate Sturgeon Bay area and are trained in an on-site welding instructional facility.
Fett predicts more work for Bay Ship in the years ahead. Ships, according to Fett, will convert to natural gas power. He also says the platform supply vessel construction market will grow as the economy improves.