PORTAGE, Ind. (March 29, 2010) - The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor celebrated the opening of its 41st international shipping season with the arrival of the “M/V Avonborg.” Port and local officials boarded the vessel for a brief ceremony, presenting the ship’s captain, Capt. Gert J.K. Mol, with gifts including an Indiana state flag and a vintage Port of Indiana South Shore poster. The first ship signifies the start of the shipping season, the arrival of vital materials for local business and the start of another work season for longshoremen, crane operators, truckers and businesses that depend on the port.
The Avonborg was the first ship through the St. Lambert lock in Québec, Canada, as the St. Lawrence Seaway opened its 53rd shipping season on March 22. The vessel carries 75 of the longest wind turbine blades in existence in North America on their journey from Esbjerg, Denmark to Payne, Ohio, where the turbines will be installed in Horizon Wind Energy’s Timber Road project. Two more ships will move through the port in coming weeks carrying additional wind turbine components for the project.
Waterborne shipping generates more than 104,000 jobs and $14.2 billion in economic activity per year for the Indiana lakeshore economy. In recent years, the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor has become a hub for shipping wind turbines. The port handled its largest single shipment of turbine components in 2010 with 11 ships carrying 134 complete wind turbine units. The port also moved its first export shipment of wind equipment last year as two loads of turbines from Acciona Windpower in Iowa were shipped to Belledune, New Brunswick.
The Avonborg is owned by Wagenborg Shipping of the Netherlands and was built in 2009 at the Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard in Shanghai, China. The vessel weighs in at 12,000 tons. Flagged for the Netherlands, the Avonborg is manned by a crew from both the Netherlands and Philippines.
Source: The Port of Indiana