Barge builder to open at Madison port, employ 400

Published 12:03 pm Monday, August 29, 2011

A Garyville, La.-based barge manufacturer will open a facility at the Madison Parish Port and eventually employ more than 400 people, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said in a report published Sunday.

Jindal expects to announce officially the arrival of St. John Enterprises today at the port, where he will also detail an incentive package used to lure the company to northeast Louisiana.

Members of the Governor’s Press Office and port officials could not be reached this morning.

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The company will take over the facility formerly occupied by Northrop Grumman, idle since last fall when the shipbuilder moved 95 jobs at its Madison Parish operation and about 4,800 workers at its yard in Avondale, La., to Pascagoula.

The facility about 30 miles northwest of Vicksburg contains six 10-ton cranes and two 20-ton cranes that helped market the building, where Northrop Grumman fabricated small ship parts.

Jindal said the company will invest $32 million to upgrade the facility and grow its work force to 454 by 2016.