GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The building of massive barges is a big business right now, and one of the companies taking advantage of the demand is right here on the coast. It's TY Offshore on Seaway Road in Gulfport.
Friday, the company put another of those barges in the water. It's an impressive sight when 1,000 tons of steel drops into the water for the first time. As you might expect, it is always an anxious and proud moment for the builders.
"It's exciting, probably the most exciting part of the construction," CEO John Dane told WLOX News.
The barge measures 300 feet and can carry as many as 30,000 barrels of oil on it.
Ty Offshore is staying mighty busy building the barges. The launch Friday was the eighth the company has built, but they have a contract for ten more. Dane said they plan to build one per month. Ty Offshore also has an option to build as many as 16 more of the barges for Florida Marine Transport. The work under contract will keep the company busy for at least the next three years.
About 650 people work for Ty Offshore and Trinity Marine, and Dane would like to hire as many as 50 additional welders, ship fitters and pipe fitters.