Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. of Panama City, Fla. announced it has been selected as one of the three finalists to design the United States Coast Guard’s new Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPC). In accordance with the terms of the $22 million dollar Phase I finalist award cap, Eastern said it will spend the next 18 months finalizing the engineering and ship design in order to become the final shipyard selected to build the first OPC.
The OPC fleet is expected to total 25 Cutters, while the initial contract is for up to 11 Cutters. The OPC is pivotal to the United States Coast Guard and Department of Homeland Security Recapitalization Plan and will meet current and future offshore mission requirements, while replacing the aging 210-foot and 270-foot Medium Endurance Cutters.
During Phase I, the United States Coast Guard Preliminary and Contract Design will bring highly skilled technical jobs to Bay County over the next 18 months. When Eastern Shipbuilding Group wins the (OPC) complete design and construction contract, there will be upwards of 2,000 direct jobs created in Northwest Florida.
Brian D’Isernia, President and CEO of Eastern Shipbuilding Group stated, “The United States Coast Guard has evaluated numerous proposals from eight US shipyards based on technical, management, past performance, and price factors. Affordability will be the central consideration for this acquisition. With a track record of 110 vessels built on-time and on-budget since 2002, we at Eastern believe that we are the best shipyard to produce the vessels which will cost effectively fulfill the United States Coast Guard Offshore Patrol Cutter Mission. Eastern’s location in Northwest Florida is the perfect place for construction of the Coast Guard’s Offshore Patrol Cutters. Bay and surrounding counties have a strong tradition of supporting the military and are honored to have bases located here for three branches of the Armed Forces, including the U.S. Coast Guard. An award of this value will represent a significant economic boom for Northwest Florida and Eastern will continue to be one of the State of Florida’s top job producers.”