The South Jersey Building Trades Council said April 19 it is being tapped for the construction of a $250 million offshore wind manufacturing hub based in Paulsboro along the Delaware River, as it formally embarks on the construction of the sprawling South Jersey operation.
Once completed, the Camden County facility at the Paulsboro Marine Terminal would produce the steel components of wind turbines, known as monopiles, that hoist up the structure of the turbine.
The site was announced in December as part of an agreement between Danish offshore wind company Ørsted and German pipe manufacturer the EEW Group, who will base their operations out of the port.
Construction will be governed by a labor agreement, reads an April 19 announcement from Ørsted and EEW. They declined to provide a copy of that agreement.
According to the announcement, construction activities include, “clearing and grading of the 70-acre site, reinforcement to increase quayside bearing capacity to accommodate the 2,500-ton monopiles, and the construction of two large buildings that will support circumferential welding, sandblasting, and painting.”
“We’ve been able to adhere to our commitment to the state of New Jersey, and in the process are helping to make the State the quintessential supply chain hub of the American offshore wind industry,” said Ørsted Offshore North America Chief Executive Officer David Hardy.
Offshore wind has been viewed by the Biden and Murphy administrations as a key component for kickstarting the nation’s post-COVID economy.
“Positioning New Jersey as a national leader in the offshore wind industry and developing our offshore wind capabilities have been key priorities of my administration since day one,” Gov. Phil Murphy said in an April 19 statement.
Ørsted is developing a 1,100-megawatt wind farm 15 miles off the coast of Atlantic City, known as Ocean Wind, whose monopiles would be built at this Delaware River facility.
“This state-of-the-art factory will exemplify how offshore wind will create long-term manufacturing jobs while supporting clean energy goals,” reads a statement from Lee Laurendeau, chief executive officer of EEW-American Offshore Structures. “EEW has full confidence in the New Jersey Trade Council that this first phase of the factory will be constructed safely, on-time and on-budget with local union labor.”
According to a December announcement from Murphy’s office, production of the monopiles is slated to begin in two years. Down the coast of the Delaware Bay is a planned 200-acre “wind port” in Salem County, from which the state would ship out wind turbine components to the rest of the count.
In addition to the 1,100-megawatt site, Ørsted and Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind – a joint venture between EDF Renewables and oil company Shell – both submitted bids to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities for the second round of projects that could generate 2,400 and 2,300 megawatts respectively.
“These agreements result in a higher quality of work and safer working conditions—they also ensure projects are completed on time and on budget,” said Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-3rd District, a career union ironworker. “[Project labor agreements] enable managers to control costs and ensure that safety standards are maintained. They’re good for workers and the community, supporting projects that create jobs and generate long-term economic growth.’r