“We’ve been handling wind energy components for
15 years. Long-term relationships with our customers
have helped us to develop our facilities to meet their
needs,” he said. “We’ve invested in the right equipment
and training to respond to the modern challenges of
moving wind energy cargo.”
The Port of Vancouver USA, located on the Columbia
River, offers an efficient, direct and uninterrupted
route between the Pacific Rim and the U.S. midconti-
nent and Canada.
“We’ve nearly completed a $250 million rail expansion
called the West Vancouver Freight Access Project which
substantially increases the port’s rail capacity and efficiency. The finished project will increase the port’s internal rail
track from about 17 miles to 54 miles,” Mickelson said.
Interstate 5, the main north/south West Coast freight
route between Canada and Mexico, is located just two
miles from the port. Interstate 84, a major regional east/
west freight route, is just 10 miles from the port. The
Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway and
Union Pacific Railroad provide access to the Canadian
National Railroad and Canadian Pacific Railroad.
Maggie Iglesias-Turner, manager of business development for wind energy and project cargo with the Port of
Corpus Christi, Texas, said traffic is growing.
The port began service the wind industry in 2006
with the Papaloti Creek 1 and 2 projects in Taft, Texas.
“It was in our backyard. Today, we handle components from all the major suppliers,” she said.
South Texas is a region known for wide open country,
and wind. The area’s many wind farms have accounted
for much of the port’s business. Today, the shipments
might be for one of the many local wind farms, or as far
as the Pacific Northwest. The cargo arrives by sea and
moves onward by truck or rail.
“We’re served by BNSF, Union Pacific and Kansas City
Southern,” Iglesias-Turner said. “The tracks come direct-
ly to our docks. We have shipments from Brazil that are
more economical to come to Corpus Christi and proceed
from there by rail rather than transit the Panama Canal
and up the Pacific Coast and then return empty.”
The port is adapting to industry trends.
“The blades are getting bigger,” Iglesias-Turner said.
“Where one blade would ship on two rail cars, today
two blades can be carried on two cars.”
“We’ve been told we’re the No. 1 port in the U.S.
Gulf for wind,” Iglesias-Turner said. “The industry has
thousands more wind turbines under constructions or
planned, so we expect to remain busy. Wind energy
cargo is here to stay for the immediate future.” n