A delegation of Maine businesses and organizations recently toured the new DSTN-DSME wind tower manufacturing plant in Nova Scotia. Organized and led by the Maine Wind Industry Initiative (MWII) to evaluate opportunities for Maine companies to be part of the supply chain network for DSTN, the delegation also explored future tower production capabilities in Maine.
According to the MWII, tower manufacturing may represent an opportunity for local large-scale wind product manufacturing in Maine. Tower designs and technologies are not as technically complicated as wind turbine and blade work. In addition, Maine has a strong steel fabrication sector that includes many companies with the necessary skill sets.
However, the initial capital investment in the equipment and buildings to roll, assemble and finish the huge tower sections (some as large at 14 feet in diameter) would need to be very large. Any local effort to establish such work would require a mature market to sell into. This market may form as continued onshore wind development is augmented by the development of offshore wind projects along the Atlantic coast.
The visit to DSTN-DSME follows a visit by a DSTN/Daewoo delegation to Maine in September to see supply chain resources and market opportunities to the state. As a result of both delegation visits, parties agreed that the location and resources found in Maine and Nova Scotia have strong partnership possibilities that will be further developed in the coming months.
DSTN-DSME Trenton, a partnership between Daewoo shipbuilding and Nova Scotia, manufactures wind towers and blades in Trenton. Tower production began this year, and blade production is expected to begin in 2012.