US-based Eastern Shipbuilding Group (ESG) has opened new construction and vessel repair facilities at Port St Joe, Florida, supporting the final outfitting of three New York City ferries and construction of US Coast Guard offshore patrol cutters
ESG recently completed a US$6M infrastructure improvement project at the Port St Joe facility to allow for vessel outfitting to commence and has embarked on a US$50M 15,000-tonne drydock project to provide full vessel maintenance services. This drydock has been specifically designed to service both government and commercial ships and can haul large deep-draft vessels. Built on the site of a former paper mill, the Port St Joe facility expands ESG’s labour pool and brings new employment opportunities to the region.
“This town was ravaged by Hurricane Michael just three short years ago affecting the livelihoods of everyone in the area,” said US Representative Neal Dunn (R-Florida) during a grand opening at the Port St Joe facility.
Three 4,500-passenger Ollis-class ferries for Staten Island Ferry, NY City Department of Transportation, are being readied for delivery at the new shipyard over the next six months.
ESG’s three facilities are located on Florida’s Panhandle in the US Gulf of Mexico. At its 40-acre Nelson Street facility and operational headquarters, ESG is building offshore patrol cutters (OPCs) for the US Coast Guard. ESG is well underway with a US$45M facility optimisation project at the Nelson Street facility to support the shipbuilding programme.
US Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) recently toured the shipyard to observe the progress on the first two OPCs under construction at the facility.
“Eastern Shipbuilding Group plays a critical role in Florida’s economy and in protecting our nation. Its management of and progress on the Coast Guard offshore patrol cutter is impressive, and a testament to its commitment to American security and the highly skilled workforce here in Northwest Florida,” said Senator Rubio. The senator is a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which is responsible for allocating funding for the federal government.
ESG’s largest facility, the 300-acre Allanton shipyard, is dedicated to commercial shipbuilding. ESG is currently the largest private employer in Bay County and has approximately 1,300 employees and contract workers across its three main shipbuilding facilities.
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