Crowley Joins With Watco to Pursue Offshore Wind Logistics Contracts

Image courtesy Crowley

Published Feb 9, 2021 9:35 PM by The Maritime Executive

Maritime and logistics company Crowley is joining forces with integrated logistics services company Watco to create a package marine terminal and transportation service for the budding U.S. offshore wind sector. 

"This partnership will provide turnkey services for the offshore wind industry in the area of terminal management," said Lynda Patterson, senior vice president of logistics at Watco. "Crowley and Watco will work together to leverage our respective expertise in logistics, project management, and energy support to create innovative solutions to meet full lifecycle project needs."

Watco is an established terminal operator for the construction of onshore wind turbines, and it has existing relationships with turbine OEMs. Together, the companies will offer a complete service for terminal design, warehousing, logistics, supply chain management, equipment maintenance and project management. 

Crowley has an existing fleet of Jones Act tugs and deck barges that could be used for transporting turbine components from wind ports to offshore wind project sites. Looking forward, it is marketing its capabilities for the design and operation of service operation vessels (SOVs), crew transfer vessels (CTVs), turbine maintenance, offshore substation repair and maintenance, and other operations. 

The prospects for the U.S. offshore wind industry appear to be improving. The Biden administration has pledged to accelerate offshore wind development, and it has expressed firm support for Jones Act shipping. The administration's decision to appoint an experienced state-level wind regulator to run the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is widely viewed as a sign that long-stalled environmental permitting for offshore wind projects will finally move towards completion. 

When the industry does take off, it will unleash billions in private investment from wind farm developers like Orsted, Dominion, BP, Shell and Equinor - all of whom will need wind-capable marine terminals and Jones Act vessel services. 

"We understand that wind power companies entering the U.S. market have big needs, including infrastructure and supply chain," said Jeff Andreini, vice president of the New Energy division at Crowley. "We’ve engineered high performing equipment and logistics offerings to answer their needs, anchored by decades of experience."