Covering Louisiana

Feb 5, 2013 5:22 PM by AP

Owner hopes for energy construction at Avondale

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. thinks the energy business might save the jobs of the 2,000 engineers and crafts people remaining at its Avondale shipyard.

Vice President Chris Kastner said Tuesday the company is bidding on oil and gas infrastructure projects and will open a Houston office on March 1 to be closer to potential customers and partners.

He says he cannot promise that Avondale will stay open after the end of this year, when it is scheduled to shut down. But he says that if they get the new work, they're in business.

About 5,000 people worked at Avondale in 2010, when Northrop Grumman Corp. announced that it was spinning off Virginia-based Huntington Ingalls. About 2,600 worked there last July.

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