Duluth completes first wind turbine blade shipment to Brazil
The Port of Duluth-Superior in Minnesota handled its first shipment of North American-made wind turbine components to Brazil.
On Aug. 27-28, the Great Lakes port loaded 54 wind turbine blades measuring 37 meters long each onboard the Dutch-flag cargo ship Flinterland. The vessel will deliver the blades to the port of Suape in northern Brazil.
54 wind turbines blades measuring 37 meters long are loaded onboard the Dutch-flag Flinterland.
'While this port has handled dozens of shipments to and from other European and South American ports, this is the first shipment of blades to Brazil,' said Jonathan Lamb, vice president of operations at Lake Superior Warehousing Co., terminal operator for the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, in a statement. 'We are well positioned to serve the wind industry, both importing from and exporting beyond North America.'
The 54 blades were trucked to Duluth earlier this summer, where crews from Lake Superior Warehousing (LSW) assembled the blades into stackable transport frames.
'Because of LSW's expertise and willingness to assemble those frames on site, we were able to put two, 37-meter blades on each truck from the factory ' which saved money and cut our carbon footprint in half,' said Susan St. Germain, director of projects for TransGroup Worldwide Logistics, the freight forwarder coordinating the shipments for IMPSA Wind.
The blades shipped from Duluth will become part of the first units assembled at IMPSA's new $90 million wind generator manufacturing plant in Suape.
'This is the first of a four-phase implementation plan in Suape,' said Jerry Katz, executive director of IMPSA Wind-Recife. 'We'll see how the wind energy market continues to develop. We expect to expand this plant into a machining and fabrication center that will eventually build towers and even blades on site in the not-too-distant future.'
IMPSA will build 318 megawatts of wind farms over the next two years, which will bring the company's investment in Brazil to more than $1 billion, Katz said.
Numerous forwarders and manufacturers have now identified the Port of Duluth-Superior as a strategic cargo-handling center ' a transshipment hub for wind turbine blades, nacelles, hubs and towers.
'Having professional, experienced crews here in Duluth ensures these huge, heavy and fragile components are loaded and unloaded safely and efficiently,' Lamb said. 'And having recently leased additional waterfront property further expands our terminal's laydown capacity.'