- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 3, 2016

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The Latest on two industrial development deals being pursued by the state of Mississippi (all times local):

5:20 p.m.

Gov. Phil Bryant says two industrial deals lawmakers will consider Thursday are the largest economic development projects in Mississippi history.

Bryant made the remarks to The Associated Press Wednesday afternoon after officials met with lawmakers behind closed doors to discuss incentives for a tire plant in western Hinds County and the expansion of Gulfport’s Topship shipyard.

The projects combined are expected to be worth more than $1.5 billion, with most money invested at the tire plant. The Clarion-Ledger reports Continental AG, a German firm, will build the tire plant. Topship is a unit of Louisiana-based Edison Chouest (SHWEST) Offshore.

The tire plant is expected to create up to 2,500 jobs, while the shipyard is expected to add up to 1,000.

State officials plan a number of incentives including borrowing $275 million.

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4:00 p.m.

Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes says he expects Topship LLC, a unit of Louisiana-based Edison Chouest (SHWEST) Offshore, to add 1,000 workers to its shipyard in his city.

Hewes says the company already has hundreds of workers after leasing land in 2015. The Mississippi State Port Authority bought 116 acres from Huntington Ingalls Industries after that shipyard closed a plant that made composite components for destroyers.

Officials with Edison Chouest and the port haven’t responded to inquiries.

Gov. Phil Bryant has called a special session Thursday to discuss Topship and a tire plant in western Hinds County, with $1.5 billion in capital investment combined. The tire plant would be the majority of overall investment, generating up to 2,500 jobs. State officials plan a number of incentives including borrowing $275 million.

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11:15 a.m.

A top lawmaker says Mississippi will borrow roughly $275 million to subsidize a tire plant in western Hinds County and a shipyard in Gulfport.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Joey Fillingane, a Sumrall Republican, says the majority of that money will go to the tire plant. The Clarion-Ledger reports the plant will be built by a unit of German firm Continental AG, but Fillingane won’t confirm the name.

The total cost of incentives and tax breaks will be more. State Sen. John Hohrn, a Jackson Democrat, says Hinds County will also borrow money to subsidize the project near Bolton.

Gov. Phil Bryant has called a special session beginning Thursday to consider incentives for the two industries. His proclamation outlines a number of other tax breaks as well.

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10:50 a.m.

Gov. Phil Bryant is calling a special session beginning Thursday to consider incentives for two economic development projects pursued by the state of Mississippi.

A proclamation calling the session was read Wednesday in the state Senate.

State Senate President Pro Tem Terry Burton, a Newton Republican, says the two projects are projected to total more than $1.5 billion in capital investment and more than 3,500 jobs.

The state is expected to borrow money to subsidize both.

The Clarion-Ledger reports the larger of the two projects, on a site in western Hinds County, is a tire plant to be constructed by Continental AG. Continental hasn’t returned requests for comments by The Associated Press.

The Clarion-Ledger reports the smaller project aids a Gulfport shipyard operated by an affiliate of Louisiana-based Edison Chouest Offshore.

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8:53 a.m.

Mississippi could be days away from landing a major industrial project as pieces of a recruitment effort including special utility rates and incentive legislation are moving forward.

The state Public Service Commission voted Tuesday to allow Energy Mississippi to offer a special electrical rate to an unnamed industry. Cecil Brown, Democratic Central District public service commissioner, says a company seeks to locate near Bolton.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jeff Smith, a Columbus Republican, says lawmakers could be days away from considering incentive legislation, which must be approved when Mississippi wants to borrow money to subsidize a project.

Hinds County has acquired and rezoned 635 acres to heavy industrial use in January. It has an option on 280 more acres.

The Mississippi Development Authority, which recruits industry, declined comment.

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