Port of Gulfport commissioners voted last week to lease space to Gulf Coast Shipyard Group, a Gulfport, Miss.-based company.

Gulf Coast Shipyard Group, formerly known as Trinity Yachts, designs and builds offshore commercial vessels, offshore and inland barges, oil spill response and patrol vessels and offshore service vessels in aluminum, steel and composite. Vessels range from 10 m to 125 m in length.

Lease terms between the Mississippi port and GCSG are for three years with three one-year options for renewal beginning March 1. Gulf Coast Shipyard has a contract to build six dual fuel LNG-powered vessels for New Orleans-based Harvey Gulf International Marine, with options for an additional four vessels. The shipbuilder will utilize 15,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space and 400 ft. of dock space on the port’s East Pier to complete final outfitting on 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 Jonathan Daniels, executive director and CEO of the Mississippi State Port Authority (MSPA). “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.”  

“We envision having 20-70 workers on the port while completing each vessel,” said John Dane III, president of Gulf Coast Shipyard Group. “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 port in June. 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.