According to Director of Communications Karl Johnson, BAE Systems is ceasing ship repair operations at its Mobile River shipyard effective immediately. Johnson said the company currently is involved in a ship construction project that will continue through the spring, but they anticipate 155 of 170 employees will depart by the end of June.

Johnson cited the “prolonged downturn” in the ship repair business, primarily of vessels supporting the oil and gas industry in the Gulf of Mexico. BAE Systems has five U.S. shipyards including Mobile, Norfolk, Virginia, Jacksonville, Florida, San Diego, California and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Employees will be eligible to apply elsewhere in the company, and no other facility is affected by today’s announcement, Johnson said.

He could not speak to future plans for the facility in Mobile. The British-based defense contractor cut half its workforce in Mobile in 2016 and just last week, the company announced annual earnings were below forecast, according to MarketWatch.

“We expressed our appreciation for the hard work of our employees and their contributions to BAE Systems and what has been a tough decision for the company and people affected,” Johnson said.