Bethlehem Steel Corp. will sell its Baltimore shipyard to a joint venture group that includes an Arlington firm, Bethlehem officials confirmed yesterday.

Announcement of the proposed sale to Swirnow Cos. Joint Venture, which includes Advanced Marine Enterprises Inc. of Arlington, was made yesterday by Baltimore Mayor William Donald Schaefer.

Both Bethlehem and the joint venture officials declined to discuss the sale price.

Schaefer has been working to reopen the huge shipyard on Key Highway since Dec. 31, when Bethlehem closed the facility. Reopening under the joint venture ultimately could lead to the restoration of 1,600 jobs at the shipyard, Schaefer said.

The shipyard had a standing work force of 3,000 in August 1982. But that figure included 2,350 workers on indefinite layoff. The shipyard had been one of Baltimore's major employers.

Swirnow Cos. is seeking a $60 million issue of port revenue bonds and a $9 million federal Urban Development Action Grant to cover the cost of reopening the shipyard.

Company President Richard Swirnow said in Baltimore yesterday that the federal money would be used to underwrite dredging operations needed to widen and deepen the channel leading into the shipyard. The bonds would be used to help purchase and develop the property, Swirnow said.

Baltimore, using money from private institutions, would issue the revenue bonds. The idea is to help the joint venture group reopen the shipyard with money borrowed at a low interest rate.

Two of the East Coast's largest floating drydocks are at the Baltimore shipyard, which also has the ability to handle 18 vessels.