ESG completes major infrastructure project to support USCG’s OPC program

Florida-based company Eastern Shipbuilding Group (ESG) has revealed the completion of a new aluminum superstructure fabrication and assembly hall at its Nelson Street Shipyard. 

This major infrastructure project further optimizes ESG’s Nelson Street Facility to support multi-hull production for the US Coast Guard’s (USCG) Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) program for which ESG serves as the prime contractor. The $5 million facility was funded through the Triumph Gulf Coast economic development program.

“The construction of this new facility manifests our commitment to provide the country a long-term industrial capability that can build national security assets on schedule and on budget. Construction of fabrication capabilities like this new facility, enhance our capabilities while reducing cost and schedule risk. I thank Triumph board members across the panhandle and their staff, as well as area leaders for their investments in support of the USCG OPC program here in Panama City,” said Joey D’Isernia, President of Eastern Shipbuilding Group.

The aluminum fabrication facility, with significant crane capacity and hook height, along with a heavily reinforced high-strength concrete slab flooring system and large sliding entryway doors, was specifically designed to support full construction of the OPC aluminum superstructure from fabrication through assembly and outfitting in a covered and controlled environment.

The facility is sized to enhance ESG’s ability to support the peak production rate of delivering two OPCs per year and is part of ESG’s commitment to upgrade and tailor their USCG-dedicated Nelson Street Shipyard to meet the needs of the USCG’s future medium endurance cutter fleet, the company revealed.

The facility was commissioned in a ceremony with leaders of the USCG Project Resident Office and local, state and Triumph Gulf Coast officials in attendance.

“Triumph Gulf Coast is pleased to have partnered with the City of Panama City and Eastern Shipbuilding to provide the new aluminum fabrication building that it is so important to the success of the USCG OPC contract. It is an honor to have a role in supporting our military and we hope to continue to support those that protect our nation through partnerships here in Bay County and across our entire region,” said Ben Lee, Triumph Board Member.

The original building was destroyed by Hurricane Michael in 2018. Over the last three years, ESG has fully rebuilt its operational facilities with insurance proceeds and has also made infrastructure expansion investments from $50 million in state appropriations and economic development grants.

The company has recently completed launch way upgrades, upland bulkhead upgrades, construction platen expansions, waterway deepening projects and has many more improvement projects underway as part of its commitment to provide a dedicated facility that is optimized for the construction of the offshore patrol cutter.

To remind, in September last year ESG started the construction work for USCG Ingham, the third ship in the Heritage-class offshore patrol cutter (OPC) program.

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Photo: Courtesy of Eastern Shipbuilding Group