A 29-acre harbor site in New Bedford, Mass., will be redeveloped into a new terminal and berthing facility by March 2023, as a base for offshore wind projects and the vessels to support them, Foss Marine and city officials announced this week.

The Eversource Energy/Sprague Oil property is a petroleum fuel terminal that functioned as a regional hub for both businesses, and now is seen as a prime location for servicing offshore wind leases in federal waters starting about 15 miles offshore.

A rendering from Foss Marine’s parent corporation Saltchuk shows a planned layout with berths for crew transfer vessels, or CTVs, built for fast commutes of technicians out to wind turbines, and bigger service operations vessels, or SOVs, that would stay on station at sea amid wind turbine arrays.

The property will also have berthing for tubs and barges – a crucial need in the first years of building U.S. offshore wind projects, requiring that turbine parts be carried out of New Bedford on U.S.-flag, Jones Act-compliant vessels to be lifted and installed by foreign-flag vessels.

Foss’ partners include local investors of New Bedford’s Cannon Street Holdings LLC. Andrew Saunders, a local commercial offshore marine industry attorney with Cannon Street Holdings, will serve as president of the New Bedford Foss Marine Terminal.

“This day was the result of a lot of support from the many key local and state government stakeholders as well as industry stakeholders and we would not have gotten to this point without this support," said Saunders. "Both Sprague and Eversource also helped greatly in bringing this day to reality. Thank you to all involved."

“The New Bedford Foss Marine Terminal is perfectly situated to support offshore wind projects on the East Coast,” said Jason Childs, president and CEO of Foss’ corporate parent Saltchuk Marine. “We appreciate the vision of the city and Port of New Bedford and the vital role they are playing in making this project a success.”

New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell lauded the announcement.

“We are thrilled to welcome Foss to the Port of New Bedford. The new terminal will solidify the port’s status as the East Coast’s leader in offshore wind, complement our fishing industry, and create opportunities for our residents,” said Mitchell. “I congratulate Andrew Saunders and Foss’s parent, Saltchuk Marine, for their skillful and persistent effort to close this important deal.”

“Foss’s investment in New Bedford is a great example of how the emerging offshore wind industry, led by the Vineyard Wind 1 project, can have a meaningful impact on the community,” said Vineyard Wind CEO Klaus Moeller. “The agreement will not only expand Foss’s operations in Massachusetts, but also create opportunities for local residents. We’re proud to work with Foss and look forward to the positive effect their presence will have in the City of New Bedford.”

“We are happy that we supported Foss in its development of this terminal as we believe that this is an example of creating added value in the development of offshore wind along the Northeast U.S. coastline. It shows that cooperation, long term relationships and trust between companies and people creates opportunities for multiple parties and leads to local job creation”, said Jan Klaassen, director of DEME Offshore US, which will provide the wind turbine installation vessel for Vineyard Wind.

The property seller, Sprague Massachusetts Properties, is wholly owned by Axel Johnson Inc. which is a private operating company with a mission to invest in and help grow great industry-leading businesses over the long term. Until mid-2021, Axel Johnson was the majority owner of Sprague Operating Resources with Sprague utilizing the New Bedford facility as a petroleum marketing location.

In the near-term, Sprague will continue to service the New Bedford petroleum market from its nearby Providence, R.I., distribution terminals via truck.

“We’re proud of our continued partnership with the City of New Bedford and the work that has already gone into the waterfront site over the past several years,” said Eversource executive vice president for corporate relations and sustainability Jim Hunt. “Redeveloping the property will bring environmentally responsible economic development opportunities to the area as our region becomes a leader for offshore wind, which aligns with our work creating a more sustainable future.”

A groundbreaking ceremony will be held later this year, in conjunction with the One SouthCoast Chamber of Commerce.

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