One step closer: Monopile manufacturing facility in Paulsboro has groundbreaking

Facility, largest industrial offshore wind manufacturing facility in U.S. to date, is considered big win for N.J.

Ocean Wind — a joint venture between Ørsted and Public Service Enterprise Group and the developer of New Jersey’s first offshore wind project — and steel pipe manufacturer EEW are one step closer to opening New Jersey’s first offshore wind manufacturing facility with the groundbreaking of an EEW monopile manufacturing facility Monday at the Port of Paulsboro Marine Terminal in Gloucester County.

The start of construction marks a significant milestone in delivering the largest industrial offshore wind manufacturing facility in the U.S. to date — and it comes just months after Gov. Phil Murphy announced a $250 million investment into the project.

Construction of the facility will be completed under a Project Labor Agreement with the South Jersey Building Trades Council, ensuring that jobs created during the construction phase will be filled by local New Jersey union tradesmen and -women. 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.

In an effort to deliver the most economic benefits to the state, EEW has contracted with more than 30 New Jersey companies in support of design, permitting, site work and concrete.

Once complete, the state-of-the-art facility will manufacture monopiles to supply the 1,100 megawatt Ocean Wind farm off the coast of southern New Jersey. EEW’s facility will create as many as 260 jobs during the first phase of construction and manufacturing. The facility is a key asset for the state.

In addition to supplying Ocean Wind, it will serve the rapidly progressing U.S. offshore wind industry for years to come.

“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,” Murphy said. “As the largest industrial offshore wind investment in the United States to date, the Paulsboro Marine Terminal will be a significant driving force for the state’s economy and create hundreds of good-paying, union jobs to South Jersey.

“Offshore wind is a once-in-a-generation opportunity, and today’s groundbreaking signals a monumental step forward in propelling New Jersey’s clean energy economy for generations to come.”

U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross (D-1st Dist.) said the significance of the facility cannot be overstated.

“This major investment shows that America’s clean energy future is being built right here in South Jersey, and the new EEW wind turbine manufacturing site will power our economy by building the clean technology that will power our homes and businesses,” he said.

“The need to transition to a clean energy economy is more important than ever before, and I applaud Gov. Murphy, EEW, Ørsted and Holt for recognizing that and taking action. This project will generate hundreds of union construction jobs, and I look forward to seeing the great work of our local building trades members.”

Lee Laurendeau, CEO of EEW-American Offshore Structures, said his organization is eager to be a partner.

“With the cooperation and support from Ørsted and the state of New Jersey, EEW is proud to be the first major offshore wind manufacturing company to break ground in the United States,” he said. “This state-of-the-art factory will exemplify how offshore wind will create long-term manufacturing jobs while supporting clean energy goals. 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.”

David Hardy, CEO of Ørsted Offshore North America, said he is grateful the project is moving closer to completion.

“This is an important step for our Ocean Wind project and the State of New Jersey,” he said. “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.”