seriously and especially with public money! Soon don Vito Chouest will be setting up a new shipyard in Wichita or Denver as long as these public servants keep shoveling money to him! This is ridiculous!
By Ashley Herriman
The Port of Gulfport, Miss., has landed a new tenant in Edison Chouest Offshore affiliate TopShip LLC, which has signed a 40-year lease to occupy the former Huntington Ingalls composite facility, acquired by the port a year ago.
TopShip will be located at the port’s new inland port and it will create an estimated 1,000 full-time jobs, representing a $68 million corporate investment, according to a press release from the office of Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant.
The Port of Gulfport is in the midst of a $570 million restoration project, part of a larger effort to restore and expand the Mississippi Sound following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
The decision to locate TopShip in Gulfport is supported with considerable public funds.[/U][/B]
On Feb. 5, the Mississippi Legislature approved an incentive package for the project made up of $11 million from the Mississippi Major Economic Impact Authority — $10 million in discretionary grants and $1 million for workforce training. The Port of Gulfport, through its restoration budget, is also providing $25 million in Katrina-CDBG funds for infrastructure improvements. The city of Gulfport and Harrison County are providing personal property tax abatements in support of the project.
“We are indeed excited about the opportunities to grow TopShip in a business friendly state, one where we can reach out into the community to recruit various skill sets, developing a quality workforce that will allow TopShip not only to compete locally, but also globally,” Edison Chouest Offshore President and CEO Gary Chouest said in a statement.
“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. The strategic location of TopShip will allow us to take advantage of the deepwater Port of Gulfport and their future expansion plans.”
Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO) was founded as Edison Chouest Boat Rental in Galliano, La., in 1960 and has grown into a diverse marine transportation company with a fleet of more than 250 vessels.
Huntington Ingalls closed its Gulfport facility in 2014, and the port acquired it in March 2015.
“The governor’s change in vision has allowed the Port of Gulfport flexibility to further expand and acquire the Huntington Ingalls facility. This has allowed MDA to put together an incentive package, bringing TopShip, LLC to the Port and creating a significant number of jobs for coastal residents,” said Jonathan Daniels, Mississippi State Port Authority executive director and CEO. “Secondarily, TopShip’s operations on Seaway Road will link seamlessly with our modernized, deepwater draft facility, creating expanded cargo opportunities and leading to additional job creation.”
so far he has Larose, Houma, Tampa, Westport, and now Gulfport