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Bollinger Shipyards Consolidates Repair Yards Closing Smaller Algiers Yard

Bollinger Algiers Shipyard
Two Bolliger drydocks were a familiar sight on the New Orleans' waterfront at the now closed yard on Algiers Point (Bollinger file photo)

Published Aug 9, 2023 7:22 PM by The Maritime Executive

Bollinger Shipyards, the largest privately-owned U.S. shipbuilder and a big employer along the Gulf Coast, is confirming media reports that the company has closed one of its older and smaller shipyards, Bollinger Algiers, which was located across the Mississippi from downtown New Orleans. The company said it was part of an effort to consolidate its repair and maintenance business and not a downsizing. 

The shipyard was a well-known fixture of the west bank of the Mississippi with Bollinger having run the operation for approximately three decades. The company acquired the yard operations, which were known as Algiers Iron Works and Dry Dock, with reports saying at its peak in the 1990s there were more than 100 full-time employees at the location.

Bollinger Algiers was a full-service shipyard with an on-site machine shop and servicing both the inland and offshore marine transportation sectors. In 2017, the company invested in an upgrade of the facility with the addition of “Mrs. Jody” a drydock with a total lifting capacity of 4,000 tons. The drydock measured 198 feet in length and was in addition to a smaller drydock that had an 1,800 ton capacity.

“We recently reallocated the work being performed at Algiers to our other facilities along the Gulf Coast,” T.J. Tatum, a spokesperson for Bollinger told the local newspaper The Times-Picayune. “Importantly, all jobs were relocated with our other 13 facilities as we continue to expand our workforce.”

Reports indicate that many of the employees were moved to the nearby Harvey, Louisiana shipyard, another repair yard just a short distance away also on the Mississippi. Bollinger also acquired the Havey facility from Avaondale Industries many years ago. 

Work continues at the Algiers Point site as a small workforce is packing and shipping equipment to other Bollinger facilities throughout the region. The larger drydock, Mrs. Jody, was moved to one of the yards acquired with VT Halter last year while the smaller drydock is currently being reconditioned. The spokesperson told the newspaper it was likely to be moved to the Harvey facility.

The consolidation comes as Bollinger has experienced significant growth after completing the acquisition of VT Halter Marine and ST Engineering Halter Marine Offshore in November 2022. The acquisition included two active shipyards in Pascagoula and two dormant yards north of Pascagoula. Reports said the company’s combined workforce grew by a third to over 3,000 employees and they added major projects for the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard’s new Polar Security Cutter program. 

Bollinger was leasing the site at Algiers Point from Port NOLA. Reports are that the company had eight years left on the current lease and is currently in negotiations with Port NOLA. A spokesperson for the port told reporters they have had interest from several marine-related businesses and they are exploring the future use of the site.