Based on the US Gulf Coast, ST Engineering Halter Marine and Offshore, Inc (STEHMO) is investing US$10M to expand its capacity by adding a new drydock to handle repairs and maintenance to larger vessels and drilling rigs
Located in Pascagoula, Mississippi, in close proximity to offshore oil and gas activity in the US Gulf of Mexico, STEHMO is investing in machinery, equipment and building upgrades, adding dock space and dredging to increase the water depth adjacent to its Bayou Casotte site. By the end of 2021, the shipyard plans to more than double the size of its workforce, by adding 100 jobs, increasing employment to 186.
Underpinned by support from the state of Mississippi, the expansion is being undertaken in anticipation of increased maintenance and vessel repair opportunities for drilling rigs, offshore support vessels, tugs, articulated tug barges (ATBs) and other commercial marine and offshore vessels.
“We are currently dredging the southern half of our quay to have 12.8-m water depth which equals the Bayou Casotte channel depth,” STEHMO senior vice president of operations Jeffrey Gehrmann told Offshore Support Journal. Added Mr Gehrmann, “We will be extending our 18.2-m deep hole to 213-m in length to accommodate the new drydock.” He confirmed that STEHMO was looking for a new drydock.
STEHMO has a 166-m pier adjacent to the slip that accommodates its existing 12,000-tonne-capacity drydock and 610-m quay at the former site of the Signal International yard.
Mr Gehrmann said the shipyard will add over 91 m of new bulkhead between its two current facilities.
Part of ST Engineering North America, STEHMO was established in July. It is a sister company to new construction yard VT Halter Marine, which is building the US Coast Guard’s Polar Security Cutter heavy icebreaker and the world’s first LNG articulated tug barge transport and bunker vessel for Q-LNG. The two shipyards are important private employers in the state, which is also home to the Ingalls Shipbuilding division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, which constructs about 70% of the US Navy’s vessels. There are more than 23,000 workers employed in shipbuilding-related jobs in the state.
“The shipbuilding and repair industry is a powerhouse on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, generating billions of dollars for the state’s economy and providing skilled jobs for thousands of Mississippians," said Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves. Governor Reeves said the company’s expansion “opens doors for new contract opportunities."
STEHMO president Nian Hua Lim added, “With these developments, STEHMO will be in an excellent position to grow the marine and offshore business and create more employment opportunities for the Gulf Coast community."
The Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) is providing assistance to offset the cost of dredging adjacent to the STEHMO site. MDA has approved the shipyard for the Advantage Jobs Rebate program, which provides a rebate to eligible businesses that create new jobs that exceed the average annual wage of the state or the county in which the company locates or expands.
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