Home » Budget Industry » Eastern Shipbuilding Resumes Coast Guard Cutter Work As Hurricane Michael Recovery Continues

Eastern Shipbuilding Resumes Coast Guard Cutter Work As Hurricane Michael Recovery Continues

The Florida shipyard building the Coast Guard’s first Offshore Patrol Cutter has gotten back to work as it continues to recover from the damage inflicted by Hurricane Michael last month.

In a Thursday statement, Eastern Shipbuilding Group announced the yard was back in operation after the Oct. 10 landfall of the category 4 hurricane that devastated the Florida panhandle.

“Immediately following the storm, ESG set out on an aggressive initiative to locate all of its employees and help get them back on the job as soon as practical after they took necessary time to secure the safety and security of their family and home,” the yard said in a statement.
“ESG has worked closely with its federal, state and commercial partners over the past two weeks to provide updates on the shipyard as well as on projects currently under construction.”

The group’s two facilities in Panama City regained power about two weeks after the storm’s landfall, and the workers that had been constructing the first OPC, the future USCGC Argus (WMSM-915) have slowly returned to the

ESG said that their yards have reached 80-percent staffing levels in the last several weeks.

Eastern Shipbuilding Florida shipyard. Google Image

“We are grateful to our partners and the maritime business community as a whole for their support and confidence during the aftermath of this historic storm. Seeing our incredible employees get back to building ships last week was an inspiration,” ESG president Joey D’Isernia said in the statement.
“While there is no doubt that the effects of Hurricane Michael will linger with our community for years to come, I can say without reservation that we are open for business and excited about delivering quality vessels to our loyal customers.”

The Coast Guard awarded Eastern a $110-million contract for Argus in 2016, and that ship had just begun construction at the yard. Eastern was also set to build the future USCGC Chase (WMSM-916) as part of a contract for nine OPCs and options for two more. The Coast Guard is set to by 25 OPCs to replace the service’s Medium Endurance Cutters for a program that could be worth up to $2.38 billion.

  • DaSaint

    Eastern Shipbuilding is a great yard, but no single shipyard should ever be solely responsible for building a high-volume number of a particular ship class. IMHO, another yard, geographically dispersed should be selected to complement this requirement for 25 OPVs. Vigor in Seattle or BIW in Maine come to mind.

  • Ed L

    The OPC would make a fine Corvette or small Frigate.

    • DaSaint

      It’s a fine VARD design. If the published specs are correct at 22kts, it could use some additional power as a Frigate. I’m a little surprised that the USCG didn’t swap out the MAN diesels and require MTU propulsion diesels to match the generator sets. After all, MTUs are used in the NSCs and FRCs. They must have been impressed at the cruising speed/range at low revs of the MAN series to vs. the additional logistical burden.

      • Ed L

        Like a Gas Turbine for a little extra power.

  • Corporatski Kittenbot 2.0

    Does anyone know how much one of these cutters actually costs?

    It’s hard to pin down a number.
    I looked up the CG’s budget and they declare “$400m for the 2nd ship+ lead items for 3rd”
    Many news articles state that the total investment will be “$10 billion”, which seems outlandish?

    Anyone know?

    • Duane

      The reported contract is $2.38B for up to 9 OPCs, or an average of $265M each … with the first one or two likely being higher cost than the average.