Pascagoula shipyard awarded $350 million contract

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - South Mississippi has a long and rich history in the military and commercial ship building industry. VT Halter Marine in Pascagoula has been a part of that tradition for over 60 years. VT Halter's shipyard once again has an opportunity to prove that South Mississippi is the premiere place to build ships.

Crowley Maritime Corporation has awarded VT Halter Marine a contract to build two container roll-on/roll-off or ConRo ships. The contract is worth over $350 million.

The container ships, designed by Wartsila Ship Design, will measure 720 feet long, 106 feet wide and 33 feet deep. Officials at VT Halter said the ships will feature the latest technology systems to maximize safety and reliability. The ships will be powered by environmentally-friendly liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The ships will be built at the VT Halter facility in Pascagoula starting in 2014. Officials hope to have the ships ready for delivery by mid to late 2017.

"VT Halter Marine is pleased and excited about the award of this contract as we continue our longstanding relationship with Crowley," said CEO, Bill Skinner.

"The start of these new LNG ConRo ships is a culmination of a lengthy pre-contract engineering and approval cycle, allowing both companies to better understand the complexity of LNG power which results in a ship that fits exactly to Crowley requirements from the start. Again, we are most grateful for the confidence Crowley has places in VT Halter Marine over these many years and we look forwards to continuing this relationship for many more years to come."

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