Company wants tax breaks to redevelop LeTourneau site

VICKSBURG — A company that proposes to redevelop the former LeTourneau Technologies site says it needs a tax exemption on up to $41 million in equipment and buildings.

A representative for Cameron International Corp., the Houston-based oil services company that bought the LeTourneau yard in 2011, told Warren County supervisors Monday the company plans to create about 167 jobs over a decade.

The Vicksburg Post reports Wes Bowen of Harvest Group, LLC, a Tennessee tax incentive negotiation firm hired by Cameron, told supervisors the company needs new flattening presses, paint booths, cranes and an improved sprinkler system as part of an expansion.

The company is seeking assurances from supervisors that a property tax exemption will be approved. A formal request for the tax break will be filed in June 2013.

“We want this facility to have good jobs that last for a long time,” Bowen said. “What you’ll see in the next few years is a conversion from temp and contract labor to full-time employment, which is what everybody wants — with benefits and all those types of things,” he told the supervisors.

Cameron has refocused the facility’s business plan on component kits for offshore oil drilling rigs instead of full-size jackup rigs made locally for years under previous owners.

Annual salaries of new hires would average $40,000, according to an overview of the expansion provided to the supervisors.

“We embrace this growth and we want to help any way we can,” Board President Bill Lauderdale said, adding it would benefit the company to involve officials such as the tax assessor to ensure the improvements would meet all requirements for an exemption.

Cameron employs more than 19,000 people at 300 sites worldwide.

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