The Port of Gulfport found its latest tenant in its own backyard. Almost 18 months before the Port’s ongoing $570 million restoration is complete, port commissioners voted today to lease space to Gulf Coast Shipyard Group, a Mississippi based company.
“We’re excited about doing business with Gulf Coast Shipyard Group and welcome the new business opportunities and jobs they will bring to the Port of Gulfport,” said Jonathan Daniels, executive director and CEO of the Mississippi State Port Authority (MSPA).
John Dane III, president of Gulf Coast Shipyard Group said, “We are pleased to work with the Port of Gulfport and grow our business in Mississippi. We’ve worked together in the past on a smaller scale and look forward to this expanded relationship.”
Headquartered in Gulfport, Gulf Coast Shipyard Group, formerly known as Trinity Yachts, is a leader in the design and construction of: offshore commercial vessels, offshore and inland barges, oil spill response and patrol vessels and oil field support vessels – in aluminum, steel and composite. Vessels range from 10 meters to 125 meters in length.
Lease terms are for three years with three one-year options for renewal beginning March 1, 2014. Gulf Coast Shipyard Group has a contract to build six dual fuel liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered vessels for New Orleans based Harvey Gulf International Marine, with options for an additional four vessels, and the shipbuilder will utilize 15,000 square feet of warehouse space and 400 linear feet of dock space on the Port’s East Pier to complete these vessels.
“It is important to note that these vessels, powered using LNG fuel, will have reduced emissions and fit in well with the Port’s newly approved Green Marine initiative,” said Daniels.
“We envision having 20-70 workers on the Port while completing each vessel,” said Dane. “These will be trade jobs – painters, electricians, carpenters, mechanics – some of whom will be Gulf Coast Shipyard employees and some of whom will be employed by our subcontractors and suppliers.”
Gulf Coast Shipyard expects the first vessel to be at the Port of Gulfport in mid-March. The Port has undertaken an aggressive effort to recruit new tenants since Daniels took the helm at the MSPA in June of 2013. Daniels said he expected the deal with Gulf Coast Shipyard to be the first successful conclusion of several lease discussions the Port currently has underway.
Memorandums of Understanding outlining the terms and confidentiality of the negotiations have been signed with five prospective maritime tenants and preliminary discussions are underway with nine others.
Port of Gulfport, January 22, 2014