Shipbuilder starts construction on expansion; adding 400 jobs

PASCAGOULA — VT Halter Marine has started construction on a new multimillion-dollar ship repair facility at the company’s Pascagoula yard.

Gov. Phil Bryant and company officials say the expansion at the Bayou Casotte shipyard will create 400 new jobs.

The company has three ship construction facilities, all located in Mississippi, with one facility in Pascagoula and two in Moss Point.

VT Halter CEO Bill Skinner says the facility is expected to be operational by March 2014.

Bryant says the state has put up $20 million in Hurricane Katrina-related Community Development Block Grant funds for the expansion.

Halter officials have said they want to develop the south yard in Pascagoula into a repair facility for semi-submersible drilling rigs and new Panamax-sized ships.

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