Unique port project nearing completion

NANAIMO – Officials say unloading of 55 wind turbines a success so far with two more deep sea vessels to arrive.

A unique delivery that is testing Nanaimo’s port operations is nearing completion and officials say the project is a success so far.

Since June, the Nanaimo port has received 55 massive wind turbines destined for the Island’s first wind farm off of Cape Scott.

The turbines are comprised of three sections weighing between 35 and 50 tonnes, and when built will stand 80 metres high with each fan blade extending 50 metres.

Six deep sea vessels were already successfully unloaded, with one more expected in two weeks and the final vessel expected in September.

Doug Peterson, Nanaimo Port Authority’s manager of marketing and sales, said the project is an opportunity for the port to showcase its potential and attract other non-traditional business to the facility.

“It’s been a very fluid operation and we’re very optimistic,” said Peterson. “This is an excellent opportunity for the port to show what it can do as far as heavy cargo goes here on the Island.”

The port put the contract together with Vestas, manufacturer of the turbine.

International Power Canada is building the wind farm and investing about $300 million while creating 150 jobs. Once complete, the wind farm is expected to generate enough energy to power 30,000 homes.

The turbine parts will be trucked by specialized equipment at a later date closer to their installation site.

The new business ties into the port’s Path 2025 strategy, developed to broaden it services to the shipping industry.