ECO to open new shipyard facility in Port of Gulfport

8 February 2016 (Last Updated February 8th, 2016 18:30)

Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO) has unveiled plans to invest $68m to establish a new shipyard in the Port of Gulfport, Mississippi, US.

Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO) has unveiled plans to invest $68m to establish a new shipyard in the Port of Gulfport, Mississippi, US.

The anticipated Gulfport operations, named as TopShip, will be situated at the Port of Gulfport’s new inland port on Seaway Road.

The company will conduct the operational activities at the former Huntington Ingalls Composite Facility, which was acquired by the port in March 2015.

"TopShip’s operations on Seaway Road will link seamlessly with our modernised, deep-water draft facility, creating expanded cargo opportunities and leading to additional job creation."

The investment is expected to generate about 1,000 full-time jobs.

Edison Chouest Offshore president and CEO Gary Chouest said: "With the help of the state of Mississippi, we will modify our TopShip facility to become one of the safest and most efficient shipyards in the nation, building Chouest pride for our employees.

"The strategic location of TopShip will allow us to take advantage of the deepwater Port of Gulfport and their future expansion plans."

Mississippi State Port Authority executive director and CEO said: "TopShip’s operations on Seaway Road will link seamlessly with our modernised, deep-water draft facility, creating expanded cargo opportunities and leading to additional job creation."

The Mississippi Legislature had ratified an incentive package to support the project. About $11m was approved by the lawmakers through the Mississippi Major Economic Impact Authority, $10m in discretionary grants and $1m for workforce training.

The Port of Gulfport, additionally, leveraged on its restoration budget to procure $25m in Katrina-CDBG funds for infrastructure improvements.

The city of Gulfport and Harrison County have also contributed in the project by providing personal property tax abatements.