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Offshore Wind Research Funded by Shell at Former Avondale Shipyard Site.

Offshore Wind Research Funded by Shell at Former Avondale Shipyard Site.

London, Tuesday, 14 March 2023

The storied site of the former Avondale Shipyard, which is ready for redevelopment, will house a wind power research and training centre thanks to money obtained from Shell for Louisiana-based Gulf Wind Technology.

Gulf Wind intends to hire 30 workers and establish a new centre for offshore wind R&D in the area with the help of $10 million in funding from Shell.

Gulf Wind has expertise conducting rotor technology study and enhancing the financial performance of operating wind farms, mostly for onshore uses. The company's headquarters are in Avondale, where they have 30,000 square feet of workspace and access to 1.5 million more for manufacturing. The new R&D programme will increase its operations.

According to the company, spending money on R&D to create custom rotors, which is its main field of expertise, will be helpful when it comes to modifying offshore turbines for the particular conditions in the Gulf.

The east coast, where the majority of current U.S. offshore wind development activity is taking place, has more stable wind resources than the Gulf area, according to James Martin, the CEO of GWT. "A situation requiring a novel approach to the application of technology and the context in which it is both developed and demonstrated is created by seasonal hurricane conditions and moderate average wind speeds. To address and meet this need, the Shell Gulf Wind Technology Accelerator programme was established.

It's anticipated that the first prototype turbine at the location will be finished as soon as next year. The programme will also house a workforce education and training effort for offshore wind in addition to its research and development activities.

The state of Louisiana provided Gulf Wind Technology with a workforce development incentive package that included a $375,000 award to support site infrastructure upgrades in order to get the project constructed in Avondale. The business is also anticipated to take part in two state tax relief schemes.

The old Avondale Shipyard, now known as Avondale Global Gateway and owned by terminal operator and stevedoring firm T. Parker Host, is greatly benefited by the news.

With hundreds of acres of laydown space for machinery like offshore wind blades, our site is the perfect location for this type of ground-breaking investment, said T. "When we took the risk of transforming Avondale Shipyards, this is exactly the type of progress and partnership we anticipated. Founder and CEO of Parker Host, Adam Anderson. With the beginning of this partnership, we are rapidly bringing our idea of Avondale Global Gateway as the first offshore wind hub on the Gulf Coast to fruition.

The administration of the Port of South Louisiana welcomed the news that Gulf Wind will be growing after last month's agreement to purchase and further redevelop the Avondale site.

According to Port of South Louisiana CEO Paul Matthews, today's statement from Gulf Wind Technology and Shell is proof that Avondale is open for business and luring investment from some of the most well-known companies in the world. "This is only the start. As the new owner of Avondale Global Gateway, we look forward to encouraging more growth and the establishment of jobs."

Huntington Ingalls sold Avondale to T. Parker Host for $60 million in 2018, and more than $100 million was spent on its renovation. As a result of higher hopes for the complex's potential for future business, it has agreed to sell the property to the Port of South Louisiana for $445 million.

(Written and edited by: The Decision Maker – Maritime editors)


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