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Deal to bring 1,000 jobs to Coast falls through

An agreement that was supposed to bring 1,000 jobs to the Coast has fallen through. 

In early 2016, Edison Chouest Offshore announced plans to bring TopShip, a shipbuilding division of their company, to Gulfport for what was supposed to be a $68 million investment, which would’ve created 1,000 jobs. 

At the time, lawmakers approved an incentive package for the company, including $11 million through the Mississippi Major Economic Impact Authority and The Port of Gulfport, through its restoration budget, was set to provide $25 million in Katrina-CDBG funds for infrastructure improvements.

Related: Edison Chouest Offshore Locating Shipbuilding Operations, TopShip, LLC, in Gulfport

The grants for those incentives were set to be paid out upon completion of the project, so according to Mississippi Development Authority, the state did not lose any funds as a result of the project’s demise. 

According to the MDA, the company failed to hold up their side of the deal, and the incentive deal expired at the end of 2018. Edison Chouest attempted to move forward with the project by reducing their investment requirements from $68 million to $34 million and cutting the expected number of jobs down to 250, but officials told them that the terms of the original deal needed to be met. 

The company has not commented publicly on the state of the deal, and it’s unclear what the company will do with the space they currently lease moving forward. 

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