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From Site Selection magazine, November 2021

Offshore Wind Sector Gains an Offshore Supplier Project

Photo: Getty Images
by Mark Arend

Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy held a launch ceremony October 25th with representatives from state and local government authorities and wind industry partners in Virginia for what will be the first offshore wind turbine blade facility in the United States. This is also the first commitment by a global offshore wind turbine manufacturer in a U.S.-based supply chain. 

 Virginia is leading the way in offshore wind and using blades from this new facility in Hampton Roads on our Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project is a major win for the region.” 
­— Robert M. Blue, Dominion Energy Chair, President and Chief Executive Officer

Siemens Gamesa will develop more than 80 acres (32 hectares) at the Portsmouth Marine Terminal in Portsmouth upon execution of a firm order for the 2.6-GW Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Commercial Project with Dominion Energy. Representing a cost of more than $200 million dollars, the facility would perform finishing of patented Siemens Gamesa Offshore IntegralBlades. Approximately 260 jobs at the facility are expected to be created when fully operational. Also, Siemens Gamesa intends to create around 50 service jobs to provide operations and maintenance services for the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Commercial Project. 

Furthermore, to enable the blade facility, Siemens Gamesa entered a land lease agreement with the Virginia Port Authority, supported by Virginia state incentives for site improvements. When operational, the facility is immediately intended to support deliveries to the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Commercial Project. 

Virginia’s ‘Critical and Central Role’

“We at Siemens Gamesa have shown the offshore wind industry the way for over 30 years. Establishing the industry’s first dedicated offshore wind turbine blade facility in the United States proves again that we are leading the offshore revolution,” states Marc Becker, CEO of the Siemens Gamesa Offshore Business Unit. “The U.S. offshore market is a critical part of our overall global strategy, with our presence in Virginia playing a crucial and central role. Our multimillion-dollar investment has been energized by the strong collaboration with Dominion Energy and support of Virginia’s legislature and authorities.” 

The Siemens Gamesa blade facility represents another step to develop the Portsmouth Marine Terminal into an offshore wind hub. Siemens Gamesa will look to potentially expand the facility if awarded future projects in the region, creating additional jobs in the future. 

“As Congress considers taking historic action on climate, this facility evidences that offshore wind can create significant new manufacturing activity and quality jobs to American communities,” said Steve Dayney, Siemens Gamesa’s head of Offshore North America. “We are hopeful this commitment will lead to further action by federal and state policy makers to establish policies to provide long-term certainty and help sustain the competitiveness of this facility in the global marketplace for decades to come.” 

“Virginia is leading the way in offshore wind and using blades from this new facility in Hampton Roads on our Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project is a major win for the region,” said Robert M. Blue, Dominion Energy chair, president and CEO. “It is great to see well-paying, clean energy jobs are on the horizon as an offshore wind supply chain develops here in Virginia.” 

“The Port of Virginia is proud to be able to help with the development of an entirely new industry that will spur job growth, drive our economy and create the U.S. East Coast’s offshore-wind logistics hub right here in Portsmouth,” said Stephen A. Edwards, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “The industry is going to be closely watching Virginia, and this port, and we welcome the interest. We have a very unique opportunity to set ourselves apart by being at the forefront of this movement to create clean, renewable energy along the East Coast. We welcome Siemens Gamesa and are looking forward to a long and productive relationship.” 

“Virginians want renewable energy, our employers want it, and Virginia is delivering it,” said Governor Ralph S. Northam. “The Commonwealth is joining these leading companies to create the most important clean-energy partnership in the United States. This is good news for energy customers, the union workers who will bring this project to life, and our business partners. Make no mistake: Virginia is building a new industry in renewable energy, with more new jobs to follow, and that’s good news for our country.” 


Foreign Investors Pick Virginia for Their First U.S. Operations


SCHOCK GmbH, the inventor of quartz composite sinks, will invest $85 million to establish its first U.S. manufacturing operation in Henry County. Virginia successfully competed with Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina for the project, which will create 355 new jobs. The company will occupy a 95,500-sq.-ft. facility in Patriot Centre Industrial Park.

“For SCHOCK, this expansion is very special — it’s our first production site outside Germany,” said SCHOCK Chief Executive Officer Ralf Boberg. “The facility will serve the strongest growth market for our product category and allow us to meet demand for colored kitchen sinks with local ‘Made in the USA’ products. We are thrilled to have found the ideal location in Henry County. As an industrial business hub, the region has a well-qualified and dedicated workforce — one of the key success factors for us as a company — and its geographic location and interregional infrastructure are perfect for our needs.”

Italy-based Veronesi Holding S.p.A., a leading manufacturer and producer of cured meats, will establish its first U.S. production operation in Rockingham County where it will create more than 150 new jobs over the next four years. The company plans to explore the possibility of working with smaller Virginia farms for its American production needs. The new facility will be used to age, process and package the company’s products for distribution, increasing its cured meat and charcuterie customer base in the U.S. market. 

“This is a very ambitious project for us, and it marks an important step for our company,” said Veronesi Holding S.p.A Chief Executive Officer Luigi Fasoli. “We want to start a new chapter in our history and establish in this country our first-ever production site for cured meats abroad, offering Americans all our expertise with the maximum freshness and quality. It is with great enthusiasm that we chose Virginia, where we found all the necessary ingredients to live our American dream.”

Canadian-based Prolam, LLC, a manufacturer of high-quality hardwood floors for commercial trucks and dry van trailers, will invest $12.8 million in Patrick County to establish its first U.S. manufacturing operation in the former Ten Oaks satellite facility. The project will create 58 high-paying jobs and add 50% to the company’s total manufacturing capacity. Prolam is also committing to source at least 65% of its timber from the Commonwealth’s robust hardwood resource, supporting regional loggers and forestland owners through the purchase of more than $20.5 million in Virginia-grown hardwoods over the next three years. 

Headquartered in Quebec, Canada, Prolam is a leading producer of commercial trailer flooring. The company supplies the top U.S. trailer manufacturers who are experiencing record growth from the surge in online commerce and the associated increase in shipping. Prolam’s new facility in Patrick County will directly benefit Virginia’s hardwood loggers and forestland owners by providing a market for lower-grade red and white oak lumber not suited for residential flooring or cooperages. 

“We are convinced that this project will be beneficial to all parties involved, including customers, suppliers, employees and the community of Patrick County,” said Prolam President Pierre Thabet. “We look forward to the many opportunities and will continue to uphold the proud local tradition of turning the majestic Appalachian hardwoods into the top quality hardwood floors for commercial trucks and dry van trailers.”

Mark Arend
Editor Emeritus of Site Selection magazine

Mark Arend

Mark Arend is editor emeritus of Site Selection, and previously served as editor in chief from 2001 to 2023. Prior to joining the editorial staff in 1997, he worked for 10 years in New York City at Wall Street Computer Review, ABA Banking Journal and Global Investment Technology. Mark graduated from the University of Hartford (Conn.) in 1985 and lives near Atlanta, Georgia.


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