Metal Shark Boats said it plans to make a US$1.9m capital investment to complete a contract for the US Coast Guard. The contract will create 106 new jobs at the shipyard, along with an estimated 164 other indirect jobs in the local area. Metal Shark, which makes aluminium boats for the government, military and recreational sectors, made the announcement yesterday at its headquarters in Jeanerette, Louisiana, along with Governor Bobby Jindal.

Metal Shark received a US$192m contract from the US Coast Guard last November to build 500 Response Boat-Small patrol vessels over the next seven years. The boats are the second-generation of a 29ft vessel used for port, waterway, and coastal security.

“Metal Shark is another outstanding example of Louisiana-based companies that are meeting the rigorous demands of military customers like the US Coast Guard while providing great new jobs for our people,” Jindal told The Daily Advertiser.

Matthew Unger, Metal Shark’s chief operating officer, told the paper that when the expansion is completed and the facility reaches full production, one boat will be built every four or five days.

The builder is working with the state government of Louisiana on a workforce development program as well as gaining access to its Industrial Tax Exemption and Quality Jobs incentive programs.