Port Authority announces completion of State Pier delivery berth
New London ― The Connecticut Port Authority reached a milestone last month with the completion of one of two delivery berths at State Pier, which means incoming vessels carrying offshore wind turbine components will be able to offload their cargo at the pier.
The wind turbines are expected to arrive next month. They are associated with the ongoing work at South Fork Wind, a 12-turbine wind farm 35 miles east off Montauk Point that will supply power to an estimated 70,000 homes in East Hampton, N.Y. on Long Island.
The delivery berth is a heavy-lift platform on the northeast side of the newly-expanded State Pier facility in New London that officials have said will handle the weight of the offshore wind turbine components and the cranes needed to off load them.
Other parts of State Pier remain under construction, delayed by supply chain issues and a series of obstacles impeding the driving of piles at the site. Dredging, for example, is expected to resume in the fall.
South Fork Wind is a 130-megawatt wind farm developed by the Eversource and Danish company Orsted, which have so far contributed $77.5 million dollars towards the $255.5 million State Pier project.
South Fork Wind is just one of three projects by Eversource/Orsted expected to use State Pier for staging and assembly. The others are the larger 704-megawatt Revolution Wind and 924-megawatt Sunrise Wind projects.
Revolution Wind is providing 304 megawatts to Connecticut and 400 megawatts to Rhode Island, in total producing enough to electricity to power an estimated 350,000 homes. Sunrise Wind is projected to power 600,000 homes in New York.
The final price of the ongoing construction at State Pier, which has risen from $93 million to $255.5 million, had been an ongoing source of controversy and is not yet known. Connecticut Port Authority Executive Director Ulysses Hammond, at the port authority’s meeting in February, said there are ongoing negotiations about costs with the construction administrator AECOM, construction manager Kiewit, Orsted/Eversource and terminal operator Gateway.
Gateway is scheduled to take over terminal operations next month.
In a statement to The Day, Matthew Satnick and Philippe DeMontigny, co-CEOs of Enstructure, Gateway's parent company, said it is expected to begin operations at State Pier on April 21.
As port operators, Gateway we will be responsible for activities that will include unloading wind turbine components from delivery vessels and, once assembled, loading wind turbines onto specialized vessels that will install those turbines offshore.
“We will also be responsible for a wide range of other support functions that will take place at State Pier, such as moving components and equipment within the port, warehousing, security and terminal upkeep,” Satnick and DeMontigny said in the statement.
Gateway is in the process of finalizing agreements with the International Longshoremen's Association to support work at the site and working with wind-engineering company Siemens Gamesa to prepare for the first delivery vessel which is scheduled to arrive on April 26.
Hammond, in a statement, called the completion of the northeast bulkhead a “seminal milestone” in the effort to upgrade State Pier into a “modern marine terminal.”