Eastern opens new Florida facility for repairs, final outfitting

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(PORT ST. JOE, Fla.) — Eastern Shipbuilding Group (ESG) hosted the opening of its Port St. Joe facility (PSJ) on Thursday, expanding the company’s operational capabilities a 40-acre site that includes 1,000 feet of deepwater bulkhead with unrestricted access to the Gulf of Mexico for testing and trials. The new facility is dedicated to final outfitting and testing of new commercial vessels as well as topside repairs.

“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.”

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Eastern Shipbuilding Group photo

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 U.S. Rep. Neal Dunn and local dignitaries.

“This is an exciting day for Gulf County and the rest of Florida’s Second Congressional District. 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. Thank you to everyone who worked to make this opportunity possible,” Dunn said.

ESG recently completed a $6 million infrastructure improvement project at the Port St. Joe facility to allow for vessel outfitting to commence, and the company 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 PSJ facility expands ESG’s labor pool into a new region and will not be competing with ESG’s other shipyards for skilled trades.

– Eastern Shipbuilding Group

By Professional Mariner Staff