Brunswick Landing snares another business

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BRUNSWICK — Gov. Paul LePage and the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority announced Thursday that a Texas-based provider of marine and offshore classification services has pledged to move some of its operations to the former Brunswick Naval Air Station.

American Bureau of Shipping will open a computer-based marine modeling center at what will soon be Brunswick Landing, according to the governor’s office.

Houston-based ABS employs surveyors, auditors and engineers who ensure that marine vessels comply with design and construction rules and requirements, according to the company’s website.

The modeling center will create computer-aided design models of marine vessels for clients like the U.S. Navy and private shipping companies. According to a press release from the governor’s office, “the model is used throughout the life of the vessel for multiple purposes – for example, verifying the integrity of the hull and analyzing the stability of the vessel if it is involved in a casualty.”

ABS now does model creation in Houston and other offices overseas. The Brunswick center will allow ABS to consolidate all its modeling in one place.

Steve Levesque, MRRA executive director, said ABS will occupy a little more than half of Building 54, which used to house the Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) school. He said he expects the company to start out with 30 employees, including designers, engineers and computer technicians, many of whom would be from the greater Brunswick area.

Levesque said ABS had been considering other locations, but settled on Brunswick because to the quality of job applicants in the area.

“Maine is an important maritime hub with a strong workforce and top-tier schools,” ABS Chairman Robert Somerville said in a prepared statement. “As a former Naval Air Station, Brunswick Landing also provides the infrastructure that will allow us to secure the intellectual property of our clients.”

Peter Vigue, CEO of Pittsfield-based Cianbro Corp., helped recruit ABS to the state. He and Somerville were classmates at Maine Maritime Academy.

“I know Bob (Somerville) well, and I worked hard to convince him that Maine was the best place to come,” Vigue said.

Vigue said ABS would “complement the capabilities of the people in the Bath Brunswick area, many of whom have been laid off by BIW.”

“It will be the beginning of a significant opportunity for the people in the area,” he said.

Levesque said ABS is shooting for a June 1 move-in date.

“It’s a pretty exciting,” he said. “It’s another high-tech company for Brunswick Landing.”

Other tenants at Brunswick Landing include Kestrel Aviation, Molnlycke Health Care, Resilient Communications and Maine Tool & Machine. BNAS will be formally decommissioned on May 31.

Emily Guerin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or Follow her on Twitter: @guerinemily.