1,000 jobs possibly headed to Gulfport's Industrial Seaway

Published: Feb. 3, 2016 at 7:00 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 4, 2016 at 10:54 AM CST
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HINDS COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - If the legislature approves an incentive package endorsed by Governor Phil Bryant, 1,000 jobs may be coming to Gulfport's Industrial Seaway.

The incentive package will be presented to lawmakers Thursday morning during a special session called by the governor.

The governor's office is remaining tight lipped about what it calls two major economic impacts for Mississippi.  One investment focuses on tires, the other is reportedly a maritime fabrication and assembly facility. The Clarion Ledger newspaper is reporting the maritime project might bring 1,000 jobs to South Mississippi.

WLOX News Now has learned from sources the facility in question is the old Ingalls plant off Seaway Road in Gulfport. The Port of Gulfport purchased the 116 acre property from Ingalls in 2015. At the time, port leaders said a long-term lease with Topship LLC had been signed.

WLOX was told that in the future, a new use for the inland port facility would be announced.

"This acquisition was a key driver in securing our new partnership with Top Ship, and we look forward to an announcement on that project in the near future," said Jonathan Daniels, MSPA executive director said in March 2015. "We are working through the final details of the project at this time. This facility's assets and location have made it highly marketable to port dependent companies, and we believe a successful future is ahead for this maritime project."

A governor's spokesman says specifics about what the Gulfport plant will produce, and when jobs will be created should come out Thursday morning as lawmakers debate the incentive package.

The newspaper says the industrial seaway project, and the tire manufacturing plant will bring $1.5 billion in private investment, and as many as 3,500 jobs to Mississippi. The special session begins Thursday at 8 a.m.

Port commissioners have told us the current plan is for the governor, and representatives from the Mississippi Development Authority to be on the coast Monday morning for a news conference about this project.

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