As the only U.S. builder of heavy polar icebreakers, Bollinger to provide expertise and capacity to NATO allies

Lockport, La., – July 11, 2024 – Bollinger Shipyards (“Bollinger”) today praised the White House’s announcement of the Icebreaker Collaboration Effort (“ICE Pact”), a trilateral agreement between the United States, Canada and Finland to contribute capacity and know-how for building polar icebreakers for the United States and its allies, and to counter the expanding presence of our nation’s adversaries and strategic competitors in the Arctic region.

The first and only shipbuilder in the United States to engineer and construct a heavy polar icebreaker in over 50 years, Bollinger will play a critical role in ICE Pact and its efforts to strengthen the polar capabilities of the United States and its allies through the creation of a fleet of polar icebreakers. Bollinger is currently under contract to build the Polar Security Cutter (PSC) heavy polar icebreaker for the United States Coast Guard.

“As the premiere builder of American-made polar icebreakers, Bollinger Shipyards is proud to support the United States and our NATO allies with our deep expertise and capacity,” said Ben Bordelon, Bollinger Shipyards President and CEO. “We have made, and will continue to make, significant, long-term investments in our facilities, infrastructure and workforce. Our goal is to create a world-class American-owned shipyard capable of producing the first fleet of American-made polar icebreakers in over half a century, and we’re honored that responsibility lies with Bollinger.”

Earlier this year, Bollinger’s Pascagoula workforce exceeded 1,000 employees – a substantial reversal of a decade-long trend of declining employment under the Pascagoula facility’s previous owner and reflects Bollinger’s commitment to growth, innovation, and investment along Mississippi’s Gulf Coast.

Bordelon continued, “Our success in reaching this milestone is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our employees, as well as the strategic initiatives we’ve implemented to expand and grow our workforce and operations. We are incredibly proud that Bollinger Shipyards is a critical part of the industrial base for our military and are honored to play a part in ensuring the national security of our nation.”

Since acquiring the Pascagoula facility in 2022, Bollinger has invested more than $40 million in upgrades to the facility’s infrastructure, technology, and personnel to establish a Center of Excellence in building world-class icebreakers. Bollinger has also launched innovative workforce development initiatives, such as its Shipfitter Bootcamp, a comprehensive 14-week workforce development program in partnership with Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College designed to equip current and future Bollinger employees with the essential skills and knowledge required to take their careers as shipfitters to the next level.


The U.S. Coast Guard requires polar icebreaking capability to support the country’s economic, commercial, maritime and national security needs in the Polar Regions. The new Polar Security Cutters (PSCs) will be national assets that will ensure access to both polar regions and be capable of executing key Coast Guard missions, including defense readiness; marine environmental protection; ports, waterways and coastal security; and search and rescue. The ships will operate worldwide and face the range of extreme environmental conditions found in the polar, tropical and temperate regions.


Bollinger Shipyards ( has a 78-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 13 facilities, all strategically located throughout Louisiana and Mississippi with direct access to the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi River and the Intracoastal Waterway. Bollinger is the largest vessel repair company in the Gulf of Mexico region. This year, Bollinger celebrates a 40-year history of building vessels for the United States Coast Guard.