Below is a press release from Bollinger. Clearly Bollinger is preparing for bigger things. They are competing for the next phase of the Offshore Patrol Cutter program as well as several Navy programs. The Coast Guard is certainly familiar with Bollinger, and vice versa. Bollinger has delivered 44 Fast Response Cutters, 73 Marine Protector class 87 foot patrol boats, and 49 Island class 110 foot patrol boats. But what about the other side of this acquisition, Gulf Island Fabrication, Inc. (“Gulf Island”)? What have they been doing?
Apparently they have been doing some significant work as well. They have been building five USNS Navajo (T-ATS-6) class Rescue and Salvage Vessels for the USN. These are 80 meter (263 foot) in length over all and of 5,110 tons full load displacement, perhaps not as complex as the Offshore Patrol Cutter or even the Webber class, but of greater displacement than the OPCs. In March 2020, the Navy awarded a $129.9M contract to build numbers four and five. These additional facilities certainly increase Bollinger’s credibility as a builder of ships larger than patrol boats.
Gulf Island Shipyard has also been building three research vessels. (dimensions are 193’L x 41’B x 19’D with a design draft of 12′-6″, max speed 12.5 knots). Cost of the three ship program is $255.58M.
Bollinger Shipyards Acquires Gulf Island Fabrication’s Shipyard Facilities
Cements Bollinger’s position as the largest American privately-owned and operated shipbuilder in the United States
Transaction includes 437-acre waterfront facility with 198,000 sq. ft. of existing operations, fabrication and warehouse space, and 4 floating drydocks
Acquisition expands new construction and repair capacity and capabilities to better serve key defense and commercial customers
(Lockport, LA) — Bollinger Shipyards (“Bollinger”), a privately-held leading designer and builder of steel military and commercial vessels for the past three quarters of a century, today announced that it has acquired Gulf Island Fabrication, Inc.’s (“Gulf Island”) (NASDAQ: GIFI) Shipyard facilities, expanding Bollinger’s new construction and repair capacity and capabilities to better serve its key defense and commercial customers. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
This acquisition creates expanded opportunities for Bollinger to better serve and deepen its relationships with key defense and commercial customers with an increased capacity for new projects and footprint, access to a larger workforce skilled in steel construction, improved efficiencies and enhanced economies of scale. Current customers for Bollinger include the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, General Dynamics-Electric Boat, and non-defense and commercial customers servicing energy production to dredging. Gulf Island had been building the Towing, Salvage and Rescue Ships (T-ATS) for the U.S. Navy and Regional Class Research Vessels for the National Science Foundation and Oregon State University. These projects conveyed with the transaction.
“The addition of the new Houma shipyard further strengthens our position within the U.S. defense industrial base as a leading shipbuilder and vessel repair company,” said Ben Bordelon, CEO and President of Bollinger Shipyards. “For 75 years, we’ve developed a deep expertise in and proven track record of building reliable, high endurance steel vessels for the Coast Guard, Navy and our commercial customers. As the needs of these customers change and grow, we are constantly looking for ways to invest in and expand our capabilities and innovative solutions so that we can continue to provide them with the highest levels of quality, support and service in our industry.”
Bordelon continued, “For three quarters of a century, Bollinger’s greatest strength has and continues to be our people and their American ingenuity and quality craftsmanship. I am excited to welcome the Gulf Island Shipyard employees into the Bollinger family. Together, we will ensure that the ‘Bollinger Standard’ will be the high bar we measure ourselves against for superior quality and safety as we work to deliver the next generation of American made high-performance vessels for our government and commercial customers.”
The new Bollinger Houma facility encompasses 437 acres on the west bank of the Houma Navigation Canal, of which 283 acres is unimproved land that is available for expansion. The facility includes 18,000 square feet of administrative and operations facilities, 160,000 square feet of covered fabrication facilities and 20,000 square feet of warehouse facilities. It also has 6,750 linear feet of water frontage, including 2,350 feet of steel bulkheads. Located just 30 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, the strategic location provides short and unrestricted access to the newly acquired Houma facility from open waters.
The acquisition also includes a 15,000-short ton drydock, a 4,000-short ton drydock, a 3,000-short ton drydock and a 1,500-short ton drydock.
Bollinger’s acquisition increases the shipyard’s growing new construction and repair portfolio. In December of last year, Congress appropriated funds for Bollinger to build four additional Sentinel Class Fast Response Cutters (FRC) for the U.S. Coast Guard. In addition to construction of the FRC, Bollinger is under contract to construct an Ocean Transport Barge and Floating Dry Dock for General Dynamics Electric Boat Division. In addition, Bollinger is participating in industry studies for five Government programs, including the U.S. Coast Guard’s Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) program, the U.S. Navy’s Common Hull Auxiliary Multi-Mission Platform (CHAMP) program, the U.S. Navy’s Auxiliary General Ocean Surveillance (T-AGOS(X)) program, the U.S. Navy’s Large Unmanned Surface Vehicle (LUSV) program and the U.S. Navy’s Light Amphibious Warship (LAW) program.
About Bollinger Shipyards LLC
Bollinger Shipyards LLC (www.bollingershipyards.com) has a 75-year legacy as a leading designer and builder of high performance military patrol boats and salvage vessels, research vessels, ocean-going double hull barges, offshore oil field support vessels, tugboats, rigs, lift boats, inland waterways push boats, barges, and other steel and aluminum products from its new construction shipyards as part of the U. S. industrial base. Bollinger has 11 shipyards, all strategically located throughout Louisiana with direct access to the Gulf of Mexico, Mississippi River and the Intracoastal Waterway. Bollinger is the largest vessel repair company in the Gulf of Mexico region.
I can’t help but think Bollinger might have it’s eyes on future USN LUSV/MUSV contracts. The T-ATS ships fall well in the range of the commercial-like platforms the USN has already signified they envision to be the possible templates for the LUSV/MUSV
The news release refers to the LUSV. “Bollinger is participating in industry studies for five Government programs, including the U.S. Coast Guard’s Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) program, the U.S. Navy’s Common Hull Auxiliary Multi-Mission Platform (CHAMP) program, the U.S. Navy’s Auxiliary General Ocean Surveillance (T-AGOS(X)) program, the U.S. Navy’s Large Unmanned Surface Vehicle (LUSV) program and the U.S. Navy’s Light Amphibious Warship (LAW) program.”
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Bollinger Shipyards Lockport LLC, Lockport, La., has been awarded a $13,725,953 Navy contract for the production of the Mine Countermeasures Unmanned Surface Vessel (MCM USV), engineering services and other direct costs.
The contract includes options that, if exercised, would bring its cumulative value to $122,908,682.