Marmen Welcon has formed a strategic alliance with steel construction firm Smulders to build a new facility for manufacturing transition pieces (TPs) for the US offshore wind market.

The new Marmen Welcon facility is planned to be constructed at the Port of Albany, New York, which is said to be the largest inland port in the north-eastern US.

TPs are the lower support structures made up of heavy steel fabrication, which lie beneath the offshore wind towers and connect them to the foundation.

The alliance will bring Smulders’s expertise to the highly automated Marmen Welcon facility, to advance the growth of the US offshore wind supply chain.

Marmen president Patrick Pellerin said: “Smulders is clearly the right partner for Marmen Welcon with its track record of over 2,000 transition pieces manufactured at its facilities located in Europe.

“The strategic partnership will allow for knowledge transfer and enhance our manufacturing capabilities for transition piece production in our future Port of Albany facility.”

Marmen Welcon chairman Carsten Pedersen said: “With this announcement, offshore wind developers now have the opportunity to source all of their large steel-fabricated components in the U.S., thanks to our new facility.”

According to Marmen Welcon, the strategic alliance with Smulders will support the $350m offshore wind investment in the US, announced earlier this year.

The investment, in partnership with Equinor, and the Port of Albany, is said to be the largest investment in the US offshore wind.

Also, the investment is supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

Marmen Welcon, in partnership with Smulders, will be the first US entity to manufacture offshore wind towers and TPs at the Port of Albany facility.

The port development is expected to commence later in 2021, with offshore wind towers planned to start production by the end-2023.

Furthermore, the project is expected to create up to 350 direct jobs in New York State, in addition to providing economic benefits for State and local businesses.

Smulders managing director Raf Iemants said: “With already more than 20 years of offshore wind experience in the European market, we are looking forward to sharing our expertise in the manufacturing of transition pieces with Marmen Welcon and contribute to the development of a sustainable supply chain for the upcoming US offshore wind market.”