Lockport-based Bollinger Shipyards has selected Tampa Shipyard for design and construction if the company lands a contract for up to three heavy polar icebreakers and three medium-sized breakers that are being considered by the U.S. Coast Guard.
If awarded the work, Bollinger expects to fill its production facility in Tampa, Florida, with more than 1,000 full-time shipyard workers as early as 2020, President and CEO Ben Bordelon said Monday. Work on the three heavy polar icebreakers could keep the facility "fully-utilized for nearly a decade," he added.
Along with the supporting infrastructure of vendors, subcontractors and suppliers, Bollinger expects that handling the work in Tampa would create more than 3,500 full-time jobs.
Bollinger currently is producing the Coast Guard’s Sentinel-class fast-response cutters at its Lockport facility, which has employed the equivalent of more than 1,000 full-time workers since 2008. So far, 29 of the 154-foot-long fast-response vessels have been delivered under the program, a number that Bollinger said could grow to as many as 58.