Executive hired for energy business at Avondale

Rene Mathieu, Avondale Industries Inc.
Rene Mathieu, Avondale Industries Inc.

A vice president and general manager has been named for Avondale Industries Inc., responsible for developing parent company Huntington Ingalls Industries’ energy infrastructure business in Avondale.

Rene Mathieu will work in Avondale and at Avondale’s business development office in Houston, HII said in a news release.

HII opened the Houston office to pursue energy infrastructure projects for its Avondale shipyard that’s been under the threat of closure in New Orleans.

HII has been working to get enough work from energy companies to support the 2,000 employees who still work at the shipyard.

Former Avondale owner Northrop Grumman announced in 2010 it would close the facility because cutbacks in defense spending dried up the market for the military vessels built at the shipyard.

Mathieu will oversee non-Navy aspects of HII’s energy infrastructure business, which includes production operations, human resources, business management, engineering and design, facilities management and fabrication.

Mathieu will report to Chris Kastner, HII’s corporate vice president and general manager of corporate development.

Beci Brenton, a spokeswoman for HII, said Mathieu’s hiring is the next step in bringing energy projects to Avondale.

“We’re still pursuing new business opportunities,” Brenton said. “We believe the market is solid for energy infrastructure.”

“Rene is an experienced executive who brings a wealth of demonstrated success in the energy infrastructure market,” Kastner said. “His experience in engineering, procurement and construction projects and his background implementing the highest safety and environmental standards will play a critical role in our effort to commercialize Avondale’s large-scale engineering and construction experience for the oil, gas and petrochemical markets.”

Mathieu has more than 30 years of experience in the U.S. and overseas, most recently as commercial vice president for Technip USA Onshore Division. He previously served as general manager of Technip Servicios in Mexico and as senior regional vice president of business development for Foster Wheeler International Corp.