Borrowing, tax breaks approved for tire plant, shipyard

Mississippi lawmakers have agreed to borrow $274 million and provide millions in tax breaks to land a tire plant in Hinds County and a shipyard in Gulfport expected to create a combined 3,500 jobs.

Continental Tire the Americas plans to begin in January 2018 building a $1.45 billion, 5 million-square-foot plant to make industrial tires. As part of its deal with the state, the plant off Interstate 20 between Clinton and Bolton will employ 500 people by the time it opens in 2019 and 2,500 people by 2028…

…Edison Chouest of Louisiana plans to invest $68 million in its Topship yard on the Industrial Seaway in Gulfport, part of the State Port of Gulfport’s planned “inland port” expansion. Topship makes service and supply vessels for offshore oil and gas exploration rigs. The company plans to complete construction by 2018 and create 1,000 jobs.

Bryant and Mississippi Development Authority Director Glenn McCullough Jr. said the combined projects mark the biggest single day in economic development in state history.