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Energy project at Paulsboro terminal would create jobs

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From left, Assemblyman John Burzichelli; Bob Mitchell, CEO of Atlantic Wind Connection; Kevin Castognola, executive director of South Jersey Port Corp.; and former Gov. JIm Florio after Tuesday's press conference.
From left, Assemblyman John Burzichelli; Bob Mitchell, CEO of Atlantic Wind Connection; Kevin Castognola, executive director of South Jersey Port Corp.; and former Gov. JIm Florio after Tuesday's press conference. - (Courtesy of Tom Cosentino)

A study by Bechtel, commissioned by the Atlantic Wind Connection, found that it is feasible to build 20,000-ton converter platforms for the New Jersey Energy Link at the Paulsboro Marine Terminal.

Building the first converter could create 500 to 600 jobs over the 19-month construction period, and a total of 1,980 jobs would be created during the construction and installation of all three phases over the next 10 years, according to a release. The work would begin in 2016 if it passes legislation in the fall, and the first phase would be in service in 2019.

"The port has always been about creating jobs and fueling our economy by opening us up to the global marketplace," said Gloucester County Freeholder Director Robert M. Damminger. "We welcome industry and manufacturing at the Paulsboro Marine Terminal."

The NJEL will be an offshore electrical transmission cable buried under the ocean, linking energy resources and users in northern, central and southern New Jersey. The cable will span the length of New Jersey, and when complete, could carry 3,000 megawatts of electricity.

"The New Jersey Energy Link will help move New Jersey on a path towards greater grid reliability and lower power costs," said Assemblyman John J. Burzichelli. "This feasibility study shows what the South Jersey Port Corporation has been working so hard on for years, to make the Paulsboro Marine Terminal a driving force for creating jobs and becoming a manufacturing hub for the offshore wind industry for the state."

The project will improve the reliability of New Jersey's power grid and help lower electricity prices by delivering both offshore wind and conventional electricity generated in New Jersey to where it is needed statewide along the coast.

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