To grow a job-rich offshore wind industry while mitigating the damages of climate change, construction at the Paulsboro Marine Terminal is moving feverishly and on time to build a $250 million factory to manufacture the massive monopiles which are the bedrock of the wind-energy industry along the Atlantic coast.
South Jersey Port Corporation (SJPC)and the State of New Jersey are investing over $500 million throughout southern New Jersey to build the maritime facilities and expertise which will serve as the manufacturing and support center of the emerging $100 billion off-shore wind-energy industry… and it’s paying off.
EEW Group, the world’s premier manufacturer of monopiles, is replicating its German monopile factory at the Paulsboro Marine Terminal. The $250 million project is on schedule with the first building to be completed in early 2022, one year after ground-breaking.
The facility will produce monopiles up to 400 feet high and 40 feet in diameter. Barged out to sea, each monopile weighing up to 5 million pounds, will be hoisted by a specialized heavy-lift sea crane and driven into the seabed. They will rise above the surface of the water to support the gigantic tower, blades, and turbine rising another 800 feet. EEW-Paulsboro plans to produce the monopiles for both Orsted projects (Ocean Wind 1 and 2) and for EDF/Shell’s Atlantic Shores project. They are also in talks to provide monopile foundations for other offshore wind-energy projects along the East Coast.
“Our intention is to supply monopiles for every project in North America,” Lee Laurendeau, the CEO of EEW American Offshore Structures told National Geographic.
By 2024, EEW’s Paulsboro facilities will include six massive manufacturing buildings and an estimated 500 employees – working three shifts a day, six days a week – churning out 100 massive monopiles a year. To feed the production line, EEW will require approximately 150,000 tons of steel per year.
The first assembly building, which will be used for circumference welding, is expected to be completed in early 2022. Totaling 100,400 square feet, the building requires 10,000 tons of concrete and 12,000 tons of steel to construct. It will be topped off with the final steel beam this month with the final skin, mechanicals, power, and massive welding and manufacturing equipment installed over the following months. The facility’s office building is also expected to be completed by early 2022.
Construction of the 40,652 square foot Paint and Blast building will begin this September and is scheduled to be finished in Summer 2022. It will be fitted out with machinery and an air filtration system to protect the integrity of the monopiles and ensure their finishing can withstand decades of saltwater and waves in the Atlantic Ocean. Although fully integrated manufacturing won’t be operational until 2024, assembly of the monopiles will begin in 2023 for Orsted’s Ocean Wind 1 project. In the initial transitional phase, EEW American Offshore Structures will import from Germany semi-completed monopiles in three sections to Paulsboro for final circumference welding and finishing. It’s a process that is maximizing the facilities as soon as possible and gearing up expert training with a focus on quality control, technical expertise, and safety of an emerging American workforce.
When all six manufacturing buildings are completed and fully operational, all aspects of manufacturing including rolling steel into massive cylinders, welding, and painting, will be produced in Paulsboro, New Jersey, employing an anticipated 500 employees.