Shipbuilder VT Halter Marine is expanding in Pascagoula to accommodate a new contract with the U.S. Coast Guard. The project is a $37.5-million corporate investment and will create 900 jobs over the next five years.
"VT Halter Marine is one of the best shipbuilders in the world, with a dedicated workforce committed to delivering the most technologically advanced ships to its government and commercial customers," Gov. Phil Bryant said. "The company's new contract will enable our country to effectively fulfill missions in the world's polar regions. This is a tremendous victory for our state. I'm proud of the leadership and effort of Ronald Baczkowski and of our congressional delegation. Mississippi once again has proven our deep and abiding commitment to the armed forces."
The $745-million contract is for the design and construction of a Polar Security Cutter, the first U.S. Coast Guard heavy icebreaker constructed in the last four decades. VT Halter Marine’s investment includes the rehabilitation and modernization of the company’s Pascagoula shipyard.
"This was a very competitive selection process. Our design package, the local workforce and facilities in Pascagoula set VT Halter Marine apart from our competitors and made this win possible,“ said Ron Baczkowski, president and CEO of VT Halter Marine. "We have received tireless support from the Mississippi Congressional delegation, Gov. Bryant and local leaders in Jackson County throughout this process. We are thankful for that, and we are all proud to support the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard by providing them with better capaiblities to operate in the Arctic.“
The Mississippi Development Authority is providing assistance for the construction of a dry dock and workforce training.
“Mississippi’s workforce gives companies a strategic advantage, which will be evidenced as VT Halter Marine’s new employees work effectively to fulfill the company’s contract for the U.S. Coast Guard’s next-generation Polar Security Cutter,” said MDA Executive Director Glenn McCullough, Jr. “MDA proudly supports our nation’s security interests in the polar regions. We salute the leadership of the Jackson county Board of Supervisors, the Jackson County Economic Development Foundation, the Jackson County Port Authority and Singing River Electric Power Association for their strong teamwork with MDA, which has been instrumental in bringing hundreds of new career opportunities to Mississippians on the Gulf Coast.”
Renovations to the shipyard are slated to begin in late 2019. VT Halter Marine expects to deliver the Polar Security Cutter to the U.S. Coast Guard in 2024.