Standing on the docks of the Port of Salem on November 9th, United States Senator Robert Menendez announced that South Jersey Ports will receive a $9 federal grant to upgrade its Salem Marine Terminal to strengthen New Jersey’s leadership in building, supporting, and manufacturing key component for the offshore wind energy industry blossoming off the Atlantic coast.
The Infrastructure for Rebuilding America grant, which has been in the works for more than a year, comes as President Biden was preparing to sign the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package that will mean an unprecedented investment of tens of billions of dollars into New Jersey’s ports, roads, airports, and other critical infrastructure over the next decade.
Added to the billions of dollars of public and private investments in South Jersey ports and specialized manufacturing to support offshore wind energy farms, the grant helps to fuel the state’s leadership in the $100 Billion offshore wind energy industry.
“The potential for the Port of Salem to take on millions of dollars in new business is tremendous. But when opportunity comes knocking you have to be ready to open the door,” said Senator Menendez. “That’s why every penny we invest to upgrade the Salem Marine Terminal today is setting the stage for new business in the green energy space.
“We want to thank Senator Menendez and Senator Cory Booker for their continued support for South Jersey Ports. They’ve been working in tandem with Governor Phil Murphy, Senate President Steve Sweeney, Congressman Donald Norcross, Congressman Jeff Van Drew, and regional leaders to make South Jersey a national leader of this dynamic, new green industry while also improving our overall capacity to service our current and future marine cargo customers,” said Andrew Saporito, Executive Director and CEO of South Jersey Port Corporation.
This is another example of the broad bipartisan support in Trenton and in Washington D.C. for the ongoing development of the marine terminals of South Jersey into the premiere logistical, manufacturing, and support center for a job-rich, carbon-free, Green Economy growing along the East Coast. The grant will be used to rehabilitate a 150-linear-foot bulkhead at the Salem Marine Terminal and extend it to 400 linear feet.
Salem Marine Terminal – with multi-modal rail connections, its barge, and navigation expertise along the Salem River, close links to interstate highways and bridges, and its sibling South Jersey marine terminals – will be ideal for logistical and maintenance support for the huge ocean wind-energy farms.
New Jersey is on track to invest $1 billion to lead the offshore wind energy industry in the United States. The South Jersey Port has already invested $400 million to develop the Port of Paulsboro into a general cargo marine terminal that was built with heavy-load decks to accommodate the massive weight of offshore wind energy components. For the past year, EEW America Offshore Structures, a worldwide leading producer of monopoles, has been building a $300 million state-of-the-art monopole plant at Paulsboro.
Doubling down, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority is building a $250 million “Wind Port” in Lower Alloways Township – 11 miles from the Salem Marine Terminal – to manufacture, assemble, and deploy the huge offshore turbines and blades.