PANAMA CITY — Eastern Shipbuilding Group Inc. has been named one of three finalists competing for a $10.5 billion Coast Guard contract, U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland's office announced Thursday.


PANAMA CITY — Eastern Shipbuilding Group Inc. has been named one of three finalists competing for a $10.5 billion Coast Guard contract, U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland's office announced Thursday.



The contract is for the Coast Guard's next generation of offshore patrol cutters. Eastern Shipbuilding, which has facilities in Panama City and Allanton, was awarded more than $21 million to design its prototype for the new vessel, according to a news release from Southerland's office.



"As one of America’s leading innovators in maritime construction, Eastern Shipbuilding Group is well positioned to deliver the cutting edge, technologically-advanced vessels the Coast Guard is seeking,” Southerland, R-Panama City, said in the release. “Should Eastern Shipbuilding win this contract, it will provide a tremendous boost to Northwest Florida’s economy and bring hundreds of well-paying, highly-skilled construction jobs to our community.”



Eastern is competing with shipyards in Lockport, La., and Bath, Maine, for the final Coast Guard contract.



More information was expected to be released later Thursday.