Gov. Bobby Jindal and Maritime International President David LeBlanc formally announced Tuesday that the company is moving its production from China to Broussard with an $8 million manufacturing expansion that locally will create 90 new direct jobs over the next three years and 150 new indirect jobs.

The new jobs will pay an average salary of about $57,000 annually, plus benefits.

The engineering and equipment company designs and manufactures bollards, marine fender systems, and mooring and navigational buoys for clients around the world, including the U.S. Navy. It also provides heavy marine fabrication services for the oil and gas industry.

Economist Loren Scott announced Maritime’s expansion and plans to move its production from China to Lafayette on Oct. 7 at ABiz’s Entree to Business luncheon when pointing to projects that will help the Lafayette metro — which includes St. Martin Parish, where Maritime is based — gain 2,200 jobs in 2012 and another 2,000 jobs in 2013.

Maritime International ranked No. 46 on ABiz’s list of Acadiana’s Top 50 Privately Held Companies, generating $24 million in 2010 revenues.

“Instead of company headquarters moving away, we have seen a growing number of company headquarters relocating to Louisiana,” Jindal said in making the announcement. “Today, we add a new win to the economic competitiveness scoreboard — and more jobs to our state, which means more opportunities for Louisiana families, and more encouragement to dream bigger and better than ever before, knowing that here in Louisiana, our economy is growing and we aren’t letting up for a second.” 

In addition to moving production now taking place in China to its plant in St. Martin Parish, the company will invest in robotic welding equipment to perform precision metal work in Broussard, adding 30,000 square feet of manufacturing space to its 65,000-square-foot facility. Maritime’s current workforce totals 70 employees. 

Maritime, which also manufactures piles, vacuums, tanks and other general fabrication for the offshore oil and gas industry, will begin construction in 2012 and complete the expansion within a year. The project will generate about 100 construction jobs.

“We feel that in order to maintain the benchmark for quality we have set in our industry, this can best be delivered by enhanced control over our manufacturing process,” Maritime’s LeBlanc said. “The technology is available to accomplish this, and with the support of [Louisiana Economic Development], we are able to bring that technology to our back yard, create quality jobs and supply a superior product made here in Louisiana.”

LED began assisting Maritime International in March 2010. To secure the new jobs and investment, LED will provide a performance-based, forgivable loan of $900,000 from its Economic Development Loan Opportunity Program. Maritime also will receive training assistance at no cost from Louisiana FastStart, and the company is expected to utilize Louisiana’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.

Founded in 1996, Maritime International also has offices in Houston, Paris, Beijing, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates. For more information, click here

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