8 years ago

International Operating Engineer - Fall 2015

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  • Operating
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  • Offshore
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The quarterly magazine of the International Union of Operating Engineers.

Feature “Local 57 has

Feature “Local 57 has been involved since 2007 in the permitting process, the legislative process, as well as, securing a Project Labor Agreement for the Block Island Wind Farm,” Business Manager Jim White told the Operating Engineer. Securing a PLA with Deepwater Wind means that more than 60 highly skilled Operating Engineers are on the job. The cranes on the water are owned by Weeks Marine of Cranford, New Jersey. The Weeks Marine 533 machine is the primary heavy lift crane. It is rated as a 500-ton capacity, barge mounted lift crane. It is one of three Weeks Marine heavy lift cranes being operated on the project. In addition, each barge also carries an 888 Manitowoc which are used to service the heavy lift cranes. Local 57 members operate all of the cranes at sea, as well as support cranes on shore including a 4100 Manitowoc and a M80 Manitowoc. Local 57 members also tend to the repairs and welding of all the hoisting, portable and sea going equipment. Operating Engineers working on the Block Island Wind Farm have had to endure their fair share of foul weather. “Near misses of recent hurricanes have resulted in Local 57 members riding out 20 foot seas on the boats and barges. Those types of seas are not for the faint of heart,” explains Business Manager White. The United States currently has about 15,650 MW of offshore wind projects in various stages of development, with approximately 3,305 MW due online by 2020, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s “2014-15 Offshore Wind Technologies Market Report.” The federal government has issued nine commercial leases for wind farms off the coasts of Massachusetts, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. Another auction is in the works for New Jersey later this year. At a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Block Island Wind Farm in July, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said Deepwater Wind will serve as a model for all of these projects. “I think that this will give them a competitive advantage because they’re learning some lessons here that are difficult,” said Jewell. “And they are expensive and people will be learning from Deepwater Wind. But they’re ahead of the game, because they have the expertise now that they’ve assembled together to make this happen.” Jewell said now it is up to the federal government to offer incentives to spur renewable energy and make it profitable. That means tax incentives like the ones already given to the oil and gas industries. In the meantime, all eyes are on Rhode Island, where the country’s first offshore wind farm is well underway. “As Business Manager, I’m very proud to have Operating Engineers working on this innovative, first in the nation, offshore wind farm,” Jim White said. [left] 400-ton steel frame jackets await placement on the ocean floor three miless off of Block Island . [photo] Local 57 [right] One of three Weeks Marine heavy lift cranes on station at the Block Island Winf Farm site. [photo] Deepwater Wind [previous page] Local 57 Operating Engineers making a lift at sea. [photo] Deepwater Wind 16 INTERNATIONAL OPERATING ENGINEER FALL 2015 17

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