Virginia lays out offshore wind supply chain roadmap

With an estimated 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power projected for the United States by 2030, Virginia believes its port facilities could play a central role.

Virginia lays out offshore wind supply chain roadmap

With an estimated 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power projected for the United States by 2030, Virginia believes its port facilities could play a central role.

Virginia lays out offshore wind supply chain roadmap

With an estimated 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power projected for the United States by 2030, Virginia believes its port facilities could play a central role.

 
With an estimated 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power projected for the United States by 2030, Virginia believes its port facilities could play a central role in the supply chain required to support these large projects.
    The state’s Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, in partnership with BVG Associates, recently released a report outlining Virginia’s port infrastructure advantages to serve the country’s burgeoning offshore wind industry on the East Coast.
    The 94-page report, The Virginia Advantage: The Roadmap for the Offshore Wind Supply Chain in Virginia, pointed to five ports throughout the state that have “a realistic potential” for performing offshore wind work: Portsmouth Marine Terminal, Newport News Marine Terminal, Peck Marine Terminal, Virginia Renaissance Center and BASF Portsmouth.
    According to the report, the most prepared marine terminals are Portsmouth and Newport News in terms of their landside accommodations and equipment for handling large wind turbine components and offering the required marine deployment capabilities. It’s estimated that $10 million in further upgrades are necessary at each port.
    While Peck Marine Terminal has the space to accommodate wind turbine components and transportation requirements, overhead navigational clearance hinders the terminal for turbine foundation manufacturing and construction staging. Other necessary upgrades to the terminal would cost about $14 million, the report said.
   Navigational restraints also hinder the Virginia Renaissance Center’s full use as an offshore wind staging terminal. However, with another $5 million in infrastructure investment, the terminal could serve as a platform for wind turbine blade and cable manufacturing.
    BVG noted that BASF Portsmouth “represents an opportunity to develop new port infrastructure and would require a larger investment of $8 million to $45 million.”
    The report’s authors pointed out that Virginia’s privately held Cape Charles Harbor is another promising candidate for offshore wind work with its deep-water access, but requires extensive terminal development to handle the wind turbine components and installation vessels.
    In addition, BVG recommended in the report that Virginia create an Office for Offshore Wind and establish a “regional supply chain collaborative” with neighboring states, such as Maryland, North Carolina and South Carolina, for “the development of a multistate regional supply cluster.”
    “Virginia has a clear opportunity to act as a leader in driving the development of the U.S. offshore wind industry,” said Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam in a Dec. 27 statement. “Growing the supply chain sector at this early stage will prepare Virginia to competitively deliver the development of our own offshore wind resources in the coming years.”
The fear of U.S. tariffs pushed short-term demand and air freight rates in the transpacific this peak season, but rates have also been remarkably strong in the transatlantic and Europe-to-Asia routes this year.
Spot container rates from Shanghai to the U.S. West Coast stood at $1,895 per FEU as of Jan. 11, while rates from Shanghai to the U.S. East Coast totaled $3,040 per FEU, down 2 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively, from a week prior, according to the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index.
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