The Bender location has access to 7,000 feet of deep-water frontage and lifting capacity of 24,000 tons. The extensive list of equipment for ship construction and repair at Bender is a huge contributing factor in the success of the shipyard. The equipment list includes four steel floating drydocks of 24,350-ton, 18,000-ton, 6000-ton, and 4000-ton capacities; a 64-ton floating derrick crane and 11 overhead cranes with up to eighty tons lifting capacity. Given these capabilities, Bender is able to build vessels, crabbers, offshore supply vessels, push boats, shrimp boats, factory trawlers, riverboats, passenger vessels, tuna seiners, and tugboats. President T. B. Bender, Jr. and Vice President Robert Beckmann sit at the helm of this shipyard.
Bender was awarded a contract for work on two 632-foot roll-on/roll-off vessels Cape Vincent and Cape Victory in December 1997. These vessels are part of the ready reserve fleet for the Maritime Administration. The work totals around $10.8 million and has employed at its peak efforts 130 people. Bender also took on many commercial projects. Bender completed a large amount of work for Otto Candies, Inc. In January 1999, Bender Shipbuilding delivered the Juanita Candies to Otto Candies, Inc. This vessel was involved in deepwater drilling programs as was the Agnes Candies, a ship delivered prior to the Juanita Candies. The Bender 220 is an offshore oilfield service vessel that is able to unload in conditions that other vessels cannot unload in. Bender has been involved in the engineering, scheduling, planning, support, and production of the Bender 220 model. Bender and Otto Candies, Inc. continued their association with an order of four PSV’s with an option for four more. On February 11, 1999, Otto Candies, Inc. opted for the fifth PSV. This vessel was planned to be delivered January 2000. Bender and Otto Candies, Inc. signed a contract for three 150-foot Anchor Handling Tugs with an option of five more identical vessels in June 1999. The first of three was planned to be delivered in 2000. These vessels carry dimensions of 150ft by 50ft by 21ft with 10,000 HP capacities and a triple screw propulsion system (from Stewart and Stevenson Services, Inc.).
Those who worked at Bender Shipbuilding & Repair Co. may have been exposed to asbestos, a commonly used fireproofing material that has been linked to mesothelioma. A mesothelioma prognosis for later-stage mesothelioma is not usually a favorable one. Thus, those diagnosed with the disease usually have a short life expectancy. Treatment is available at top mesothelioma cancer centers in the country but the probability of patients going into remission from mesothelioma is not common.