Bollinger would build Coast Guard icebreakers at Tampa Shipyard

Written by Nick Blenkey
image description

Ben Bordelon, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bollinger Shipyards, LLC

JULY 9, 2018 — Bollinger Shipyards, Lockport, LA, has selected Tampa Shipyard for design and construction of up to three heavy polar icebreakers, and three additional medium sized icebreakers under consideration by the Coast Guard, should it be successful in bids for these programs.

According to a Congressional Research Service report released back in May, the Coast Guard is seeking to acquire three new heavy polar icebreakers, to be followed years from now by the acquisition of up to three new medium polar icebreakers. The Coast Guard wants to begin construction of the first new heavy polar icebreaker in FY2019 and have it enter service in 2023

“We are excited to respond to the Coast Guard’s need to recapitalize its depleted polar capabilities,” says Ben Bordelon, Bollinger’s President and CEO. “We expect to fill our capable production facility in Tampa with over 1,000 highly skilled full-time shipyard workers beginning as early as 2020. Just the three heavies alone could keep the facility fully utilized for nearly a decade. Should we be awarded the contract for the heavies and the anticipated mediums constructed in Tampa, we could be busy here through 2035. Along with the supporting infrastructure of vendors, subcontractors and suppliers, we would expect that locating this program in Tampa will have the benefit of well over 3,500 quality, high paying, full-time jobs with solid benefits packages,” adds Bordelon.

Bordelon, along with the Chouest family from Galliano, LA, acquired all assets and stock of Bollinger Shipyards, Inc., in December 2014. Tampa Shipyard is a member of the Chouest family of companies.

“With the full support of President Trump, the U.S. Navy in collaboration with the U.S. Coast Guard under an integrated program office released the request for proposal for the procurement and detail design of the heavy icebreakers earlier this year. The Coast Guard and America will greatly benefit from these assets. The United States shipbuilding and Jones Act communities support and appreciate President Trump’s emphasis on domestic manufacturing and his administration’s dedication to improving America’s infrastructure,” points out Bordelon.

Florida Governor Rick Scott says, “Florida is one of the best states in the nation for our military and I’m proud of the work we’ve done to bring jobs to our state. Florida’s talented workforce and Bollinger’s unique facilities in Tampa make it the perfect place for the Coast Guard Icebreaker Program.”

Bollinger currently is producing the Coast Guard’s Fast Response Cutter (FRC) fleet at its facility in Lockport, LA, where over 1,000 full-time equivalents have been engaged since 2008. Under the current program of record, 29 vessels have been delivered to date. Bollinger anticipates this program to benefit the local community beyond 2023 with award and production of up to 58 vessels.

“We have built over 150 vessels for the Coast Guard in Louisiana beginning in the early 1980’s. We anticipate taking our cumulative knowledge of this customer, our expertise in building complex vessels and serial production techniques to Florida and creating an even greater economic engine than we presently have,” says Bordelon.

Categories: Shipyard News Tags: ,

Leave a Reply