Eastern Shipbuilding Group Inc. (ESG) announced that the company has signed an exclusive partnership agreement with Louisiana’s Bayou Metal Supply to provide material and labor in support of the production of the U.S. Coast Guard Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) Program. ESG is the prime contractor of the OPC program and landed this exclusive materials and labor relationship to strengthen its bid for Stage II of the program which will be awarded in early 2022.

“As the prime contractor for the Offshore Patrol Cutter Program, we choose partners who offer superior product and labor to deliver industry leading vessels to the United States Coast Guard,” Joey D’Isernia, president, Eastern Shipbuilding Group, said in a statement announcing the agreement. “Bayou has been a valued partner in the production of the OPCs and this exclusive agreement provides the United States Coast Guard a reliable supply and labor chain that will keep the program on budget and on schedule as we build future vessels. It’s a great partnership that will secure jobs in the Gulf Region and benefit our two states.”

ESG awarded Bayou Metal Supply a contract in 2019 to provide material and labor to cut and fabricate aluminum superstructure subassembly panels for the OPCs. The panels are then assembled by ESG into units that are erected onto the ship by ESG production crews. This exclusive partnership provides materials and labor needed to expedite the construction of future vessels and supports ESG’s ability to increase production rate to multiple vessels per year.

“Bayou Metal Supply is honored to partner with ESG to supply the aluminum and modular panels used in the construction of the OPC. With the agreement, we (Bayou) were able to apply our Advanced Manufacturing practices to provide superior quality Aluminum panels to the project. Our talented, dedicated and focused workforce in Louisiana & Mississippi are working closely with ESG to provide the Best Superstructure to ESG and the United States Coast Guard,” said Christopher Fernandez, Owner, Bayou Metal Supply.

Bayou’s highly specialized aluminum fabrication facilities improve fabrication costs, quality, and throughput for the program. The agreement includes the ability to router cut aluminum and utilize friction stir welding techniques in fully enclosed fabrication facilities. ESG has on-site QA personnel at the Bayou facility to ensure seamless integration and quality. The geographically separate workforce allows ESG to tap into another labor market and execute core ship construction capabilities with greater efficiency while expanding the job market potential throughout the Gulf Region.