VT Halter Marine has begun construction on an integrated blast and paint facility at its Pascagoula, Miss., shipyard.

The new facility will allow the complete indoor and environmentally controlled surface preparation and final painting of ship sections prior to final erection, while ensuring particles from the facility are not released into the environment, the company said in a statement.

Located on the northeast corner of the Pascagoula shipyard, the new space will accommodate ship sections as large as 105’(W)x80’(L)x40’(H) and weigh up to 500 tons each. A “flow-thru” configuration allows ship sections to be prepared, blasted, and painted without having to be taken outside.

When completed the facility will consist of a large 304’x120’ main building with three side areas housing the preparation area, blast booth, small parts paint booth, large ship section paint booth, paint kitchen, and dual independent grit recovery and cleaning areas. A 135’x50’ paint storage warehouse will be located adjacent to the main building. The facility is designed for 24/7 operation in all weather conditions and is equipped with 100% LED lighting intended to reduce energy demands along with the facility’s carbon footprint.

“In keeping with providing our customers with excellent facilities, the addition of this new facility will further enhance our capabilities and quality to be more efficient and competitive,” said Paul J. Albert, VT Halter's CEO.

VT Halter expects to complete construction in September and begin operations in the new space shortly thereafter.

Quin-Co of Eight Mile, Ala., has been contracted to do the construction work.