Press Releases

Huntington Ingalls Industries opens Houston office for Avondale shipyard business development

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced Tuesday the opening of a new office in Houston, TX. According to a press announcement released by the naval shipbuilder, the Houston office will serve as a business development center as the company pursues opportunities in the energy infrastructure market for the Avondale shipyard.

Northrup Grumman Corp announced plans to close the Avondale shipyard in 2010. The 268-acre facility was set to close by the end of 2013. The Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO), along with Greater New Orleans Inc. and Louisiana Economic Development, has been engaged in working with the Huntington Ingalls team to develop new lines of business since the announcement.

“The retention of the Avondale Shipyard has been one of Jefferson Parish’s biggest priorities for some time,” says JEDCO Executive Director, Jerry Bologna. “We believe this announcement signals Huntington Ingalls’ clear commitment to identifying future work for the Avondale yard.  Meanwhile, JEDCO and Jefferson Parish will remain vigilant to ensure the long-term stability of this great economic asset in our community.”

“We have a great workforce at Avondale with unique engineering and manufacturing capabilities that have been demonstrated for many decades,” said Mike Petters, HII’s president and chief executive officer, in the press announcement. “Additionally, these skilled men and women are located in the heart of a region where there is more manufacturing demand than the current suppliers can meet, particularly in the energy markets. Coupling this talent with our world-class facilities leads us to believe we have everything in place at Avondale to excel in this market.”

Chris Kastner, HII’s corporate vice president and general manager, corporate development, who is leading this effort for Avondale, added, “We are in active discussions with respected companies in the oil and gas infrastructure market. We’ve satisfied ourselves that the engineering and construction elements of these projects are very comparable to shipbuilding, and we are working very hard, both internally and with prospective customers, evaluating and competing for new opportunities. These upcoming large projects should be made in America by American craftsmen and craftswomen.”

Avondale plans to transition into the market by building upon years of expertise in areas of modular engineering, construction and heavy manufacturing. The facility is located on the Mississippi River in Jefferson Parish. It has the potential to employ up to 10,000 people.

Huntington Ingalls Industries designs, builds and maintains nuclear and non-nuclear ships for the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard and provides after-market services for military ships around the globe. For more than a century, HII has built more ships in more ship classes than any other U.S. naval shipbuilder. HII also provides a wide variety of products and services to the commercial energy industry and other government customers, including the Department of Energy. Employing about 37,000 in Virginia, Mississippi, Louisiana and California, its primary business divisions are Newport News Shipbuilding and Ingalls Shipbuilding. For more information about Avondale, visit: For more information about HII, visit