Marmen Welcon Teams Up with Smulders to Produce TPs for US Offshore Wind Market

Marmen Welcon, a joint venture between two manufacturers of onshore and offshore wind towers, has entered a strategic alliance with Smulders to produce transition pieces (TPs) for the US offshore wind market at Marmen Welcon facility which will be built in the Port of Albany. 

The companies will be the first to manufacture offshore wind towers and transition pieces in the United States at the Port of Albany facility, on which construction works are scheduled to begin later this year.

“Smulders is clearly the right partner for Marmen Welcon with its track record of over 2,000 transition pieces manufactured at its facilities located in Europe”, said Patrick Pellerin, President of Marmen. “The strategic partnership will allow for knowledge transfer and enhance our manufacturing capabilities for transition piece production in our future Port of Albany facility”.

Marmen Welcon is building the manufacturing facility following a USD 350 million investment driven by Equinor, the Port of Albany, and the company itself, and support by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

The investment came in after Equinor, together with its partner BP, won New York’s 2.5 GW offshore wind tender at the beginning of this year. In the proposals submitted at the state’s offshore wind solicitiation, the developer also included plans to house the manufacturing of wind turbine towers and transition pieces in the Port of Albany.

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Namely, New York’s latest solicitation also included a requirement for offshore wind generators to partner with any of the eleven prequalified New York ports to stage, construct, manufacture key components, or coordinate operations and maintenance activities.

In the proposals to develop develop the 1,260 MW Empire Wind 2 and the 1,230 MW Beacon Wind 1 offshore wind projects, Equinor and BP outlined plans for manufacturing offshore wind components upstate at the Port of Albany and the Port of Coeymans, and making South Brooklyn Marine Terminal the hub for construction activities and an operations and maintenance (O&M) base.

According to Equinor’s press release from last year, the facility developed jointly with Marmen and Welcon could create up to 350 direct jobs in the region.

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Equinor said last year that the extension of the Port of Albany and the construction of the offshore wind tower/TP manufacturing facility there could provide an immediate economic boost to the area as it recovers from the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hundreds of jobs would be created in Albany to support the construction of the port’s infrastructure, as well as for the long-term assembly operations, according to the offshore wind developer. In addition, maritime operations related to industry components will sustain hundreds of other jobs for decades.

First offshore wind towers at the Marmen Welcon facility are scheduled to be produced at the end of 2023.

Photo: Smulders; Illustration