Eastern Opens New Yard in Port St. Joe
Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. (ESG) has opened a new outfitting and repair yard in Port St. Joe, Fla.
The new facility, dedicated to final outfitting and testing of commercial new construction vessels as well as topside repairs, adds to the company’s operational capabilities a 40-acre site that encompasses 1,000 feet of deepwater bulkhead with unrestricted access to the Gulf of Mexico test and trials grounds.
“We are proud to commission our third facility with the strong support from the local community and our dedicated workforce,” said Joey D’Isernia, President of Eastern Shipbuilding Group. “This is an exciting chapter in our long history of quality shipbuilding as we add new capacity and capabilities to offer our customers and build a longstanding presence in Gulf County.”
Hundreds gathered from across the Florida panhandle to celebrate the economic development event and see the new Ollis-class Staten Island Ferries constructed by ESG. The occasion was marked by remarks from Congressman Neal Dunn, local dignitaries and a ribbon cutting.
“This is an exciting day for Gulf County and the rest of Florida’s Second Congressional District,” Congressman Dunn said. “This town was ravaged by Hurricane Michael just three short years ago affecting the livelihoods of everyone in the area. This project will bring hundreds of jobs to the area and will give more Gulf County residents the chance to achieve the American Dream.”
ESG recently completed a $6 million infrastructure improvement project at the Port St. Joe site to allow for vessel outfitting to commence and has embarked on a $50 million 15,000 ton dry-dock project to provide full vessel sustainment services. This dry-dock has been specifically designed to be able to service both government and commercial ships and can haul large deep draft vessels. The facility expands ESG’s labor pool into a new region and will not be competing with ESG’s other shipyards for skilled trades.
ESG, which performs both commercial and government shipbuilding work, is currently the largest private employer in Bay County, with approximately 1,300 employees and contract workers across its three main shipbuilding facilities along the Gulf Coast on Florida’s Panhandle.
ESG is well underway on a $45 million facility optimization project at its 40-acre Nelson Street facility, which serves as the company’s operational headquarters and is dedicated to the U.S. Coast Guard Offshore Patrol Cutter project.
Eastern operates the commercial side of its business at its 300-acre Allanton facility, which has more than 6,000 feet of water frontage leading into St. Andrew’s Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.