Ship repair company building $64.4M Newport News campus
S23 Holdings and affiliate East Coast Repair and Fabrication will create 332 jobs
S23 Holdings LLC, a maritime company focused on ship repair and manufacturing, plans to locate its corporate and industrial campus in Newport News, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Tuesday. The company, which includes among its affiliates East Coast Repair and Fabrication (ECR), will invest $64.4 million and is expected to create 332 jobs.
ECR already has locations in Chesapeake, Norfolk and Portsmouth, as well as in California and Florida. The new facility will be on waterfront property at 1201 Terminal Avenue in Newport News and will focus on ship repair, manufacturing and rehabilitation of piers.
ECR purchased the 84-acre property at the foot of the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel last summer, which includes two 1,000-foot-plus piers and is assessed by the city at $17.1 million. Last fall, the company won a ship repair contract with U.S. Marine Management to repair steel on the USNS Bob Hope vessel at the location, and ECR was one of eight Hampton Roads contractors named last summer in a $217 million contract to modify, repair and upgrade ships, awarded by the U.S. Navy.
Virginia competed with Florida and Puerto Rico for the project, according to the governor’s office.
S23 and its affiliates will be the only small ship-repair company with deep-water access in Virginia, allowing the company to do repairs that aren’t presently performed in Hampton Roads.
“The Newport News facility is strategically located on the James River, has the water depth to accommodate deep draft vessels, offers unrestricted navigational access, and, most importantly, has access to an underutilized workforce,” S23 CEO and Chairman Jorge Rivera said in a statement. “Workforce development is one of S23’s guiding principles, and our sincere desire to work with the Southeast community to create new jobs and provide shipyard training was a driving force behind our decision to select Newport News.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the governor worked with the city of Newport News to secure the project, with a $664,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund. S23 and its affiliates are eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, and the Virginia Jobs Investment Program will provide funding and services to train employees at no cost to the company.
“Securing this major investment from S23 Holdings is an important win for Newport News and our commonwealth as we work to move our economy forward,” Northam said in a statement.