Bollinger gears up for icebreakers
Bollinger Shipyards has selected Tampa Shipyard for design and construction of up to three heavy polar icebreakers, and three additional medium-sized breakers under consideration by the Coast Guard, the company said in a press release.
“We are excited to respond to the Coast Guard’s need to recapitalize its depleted polar capabilities," said Bollinger President and CEO Ben Bordelon.
"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. "
Bordelon said that if the company wins the contract for the heavies and anticipated mediums constructed in Tampa, Bollinger could be busy through 2035.
Counting vendors, subcontractors and suppliers, the deal could mean 3,500 high-paying jobs, Bordelon said.
“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," Bordelon said. "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."
Bollinger currently is producing the Coast Guard’s Fast Response Cutter fleet at its facility in Lockport, 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.