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Bollinger Shipyards In Lockport, Louisiana, Wins Contract To Build Coast Guard Cutters

A leading designer and builder of fast military patrol cutters, ocean-going double-hull barges, offshore oilfield support vessels, tug boats, rigs, liftboats, and inland waterways push boats, Bollinger Shipyards, won a contract to build 26 Sentinel Class Fast Response Cutters for the Coast Guard. The project is expected to retain 500 jobs in Lockport, Louisiana.

The cutters, which represent the newest generation of Coast Guard patrol vessels, are a replacement for the Coast Guard Island Class cutters that Bollinger built more than a quarter-century ago. Each cutter built by Bollinger measures 154 feet long, with a beam of 25 feet, 5 inches and a draft of 8 feet, 5 inches. It will accommodate a crew of 24 for up to five days at sea. Its missions will include search a rescue, drug and illegal migrant interdiction, homeland security and maritime defense.

Bollinger was awarded the contract for the first Fast Response Cutter in September 2008. As of February 2015, seven contract options have been awarded to Bollinger to bring the total number of FRCs under contract to 32. With this Phase II award, the total number of cutters will reach 58. To date Bollinger has delivered 17 FRCs, which are currently in service in Miami and Key West, Florida, and Puerto Rico.

“We are so pleased with this award to build 26 FRC Coast Guard cutters,” Bollinger Shipyards CEO/President Ben Bordelon said. “Our relationship with the Coast Guard began over 30 years ago and we are proud to continue building on that legacy. This is a testament to the skilled Louisiana-based team of Bollinger employees.”

“Shipbuilding has been an important industry in Louisiana for generations, and the armed forces of the United States have long relied on the talents of Louisiana’s shipyard workforce,” Governor John Bel Edwards said. “This new contract award to Bollinger Shipyards builds on that legacy. The work will provide good-paying jobs for hundreds of skilled workers in the Bayou Region for years to come, as Bollinger continues its tradition of constructing vessels of the highest quality for the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Louisiana Economic Development’s Business Expansion and Retention Group began discussions with Bollinger about a potential project in late 2014. The State of Louisiana provided letters of support and other project assistance, according to Louisiana Economic Development.

"Bollinger has been an important company for this region for a long time, and it has survived and thrived through many market changes,” said President/CEO Vic Lafont of the South Louisiana Economic Council. “This new Coast Guard contract is a testament to how the company has embraced innovation to diversify itself over time. In this industry, the will to adapt and succeed can’t be underestimated.”

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