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RIBBON CUTTING—Dignitaries at the ribbon cutting for the new module construction at Marinette Marine on Monday, May 20 were from left, Chuck Cloninger, Wisconsin Public Service president, Chuck Goddard, Marinette Marine president and CEO, Francesco Valente, Finantiere Marine Group president and CEO, State Representative John Nygren, State Senator Dave Hanson, and Tamara Sondgeroth of Focus on Energy.

Marinette Marine Dedicates New Construction Module

An All-Star cast was on hand to help Marinette Marine Corporation, a Fincantieri Marine Group Company, dedicate the latest new building at the shipbuilder's Marinette location on Monday, May 20. Officially designated “Grand Module Construction, Building 33,” the structure is 315 feet long by 91 feet wide and towers to a height of 50 feet. Both ends of the edifice are “mega doors,” allowing the modular portions of ships built inside to be moved on to the next phase of construction with ease.

With the completion of Building 33, Fincantieri has now invested $73.5 million in infrastructure improvements at Marinette Marine. The several-year project has seen the demolition of nine buildings, the construction of buildings 30-33 and the installation of 13 acres of pavement. The goal of the improvements was to increase the efficiency of movement as different aspects of a ship are built, and to bring more than half of the construction process into a controlled environment. Marinette Marine now has over 556,000 square feet of assembly area.

Building 33 is truly a state-of-the-art building when it comes to energy efficiency. According to Tamara Sondgeroth, WPS Director of Energy Portfolios for Focus on Energy, the new building will save an estimated 406,00 therms and over 1 million kilowatt hours of energy per year. The energy efficiencies can be seen in the lights, the heating system, insulation, and even in a heat-recover system at the top of the building which is able to recover the heat and still remove the welding smoke from the air. Focus on Energy awarded Marinette Marine with $236,605 in Focus on Energy grants.

The highlight of the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony was the remarks by Francesco Valente, President and CEO of Fincantieri Marine Group. Valente compared the infrastructure investments at Marinette Marine to field prep and planting doing by farmers in the spring. The harvest comes in the form of an aggressive but accomplishable schedule to build two Littoral Combat Ships per year for the United States Navy. And at the same time, Valente touted that Marinette Marine has the capability to construct other, smaller ships at the facility at the same time.

Since garnering the first LCS contract, Valente pointed out that Marinette Marine has expanded their workforce by over 60 percent, with 1,400 currently employed. At the same time, the company has been able to reduce the ship construction cost by over 25 percent when compared to the first LCS ship. Added to all of this, Valente pointed to the fact that Fincantieri and Marinette Marine have attracted some of the best engineering and naval architecture minds in the industry to Marinette. Along with cutting-edge computer controlled manufacturing equipment and the industry's finest master craftsmen; Marinette Marine is uniquely positioned to meet the shipbuilding challenges of today and tomorrow.

Marinette Marine President and CEO Chuck Goddard served as Master of Ceremonies. Other speakers included Chuck Cloninger, President of Wisconsin Public Service, Wisconsin 30th District State Senator Dave Hanson, and Wisconsin 89th Assembly District Representative John Nygren. MMC employees Don Hermansen and Steve Phillips assisted with the ribbon cutting.


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