Coast shipbuilders request funding to expand

Published 7:18 pm Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Shipbuilders Trinity Yachts and Gulf Ship are applying for $13 million in grant money from the Mississippi Development Authority to expand their Gulfport facilities.

Trinity, which makes custom-made yachts, is applying for $3 million, which would go toward adding more space to secure and protect yachts during retrofitting. It could create 500 jobs, officials said.

Gulf Ship, a subsidiary of Louisiana-based Edison Chouest Offshore, a leader in the offshore-drilling industry, is asking for $10 million.

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Roger White, Gulf Ship’s senior vice president, said the money would be used to engineer and build a launching system on property. It could create 600 jobs.

The company is building a shipyard as part of a $70 million investment to move part of its operation to Gulfport.

The jobs will include electricians, shipfitters and welders, officials said.

“The great thing is we (will) have people working,” Harrison County Board of Supervisors president Larry Benefield said Monday. “There are jobs and there are good jobs. These are good jobs. It provides some family stability.”