Eastern Shipbuilding Group has signed an exclusive partnership agreement with Louisiana’s Bayou Metal Supply to provide material and labor in support of the production of the U.S. Coast Guard Offshore Patrol Cutter Program.
ESG is the prime contractor of the OPC program and closed the deal with the Slidell company to strengthen its bid for Stage II of the program, which will be awarded in early 2022.
Acquisition of the offshore patrol cutter is the Coast Guard’s highest investment priority, according to information posted on its website. The OPC will provide a capability bridge between the national security cutter, which patrols the open ocean in the most demanding maritime environments, and the fast response cutter, which serves closer to shore. The ships will feature state-of-the-market technology and will replace the service’s 270-foot and 210-foot medium endurance cutters, which are becoming increasingly expensive to maintain and operate. The first OPC is scheduled for delivery in 2022.
In an announcement posted on the company’s website, Eastern Shipbuilding Group President Joey D’Isernia says Bayou will help keep the program on budget and on schedule as it builds future vessels.
With its workforce in Louisiana and Mississippi, Bayou Metal Supply provides the aluminum and modular panels used in the construction of the OPC, Bayou Metal Supply Owner Christopher Fernandez says.
The deal comes after ESG awarded Bayou Metal Supply a contract in 2019 to provide material and labor to cut and fabricate aluminum superstructure subassembly panels for the OPCs. The panels are then assembled by ESG into units that are erected onto the ship by ESG production crews.
ESG says the exclusive partnership provides materials and labor needed to expedite the construction of future vessels and supports ESG’s ability to increase production rate to multiple vessels per year.