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US Offshore Marine Service Association hits out at Vineyard Wind over Dutch tug

Trade Winds News|Matt Coyne|October 28, 2022
MassachusettsUSAOffshore WindJobs and Economy
“Offshore wind developers were just handed a multi-billion dollar tax credit from US taxpayers and Vineyard Wind turns around and gives those dollars to Dutch vessel owners and foreign mariners,” OMSA president Aaron Smith said in a statement. “American offshore energy should mean American jobs and opportunity, unfortunately once again we are seeing offshore developers knowingly skirt American law to save a (taxpayer supported) buck at the expense of American jobs.”

Industry group accuses Massachusetts offshore wind project of exploiting a ‘loophole’ to employ lower-cost foreign workers
 
A US industry group is calling out the Vineyard Wind project for exploiting a “loophole” to aid in constructing the Massachusetts offshore wind project.
 
The Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA) accused the joint venture between Avangrid and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners of skirting federal laws and favouring foreign workers over US mariners in using the 6,000-bhp, Netherlands-flagged Norne (built 2011).
 
The group alleged that the Koerts International Towage Service-controlled vessel’s use is putting US national security and sovereignty at risk.
 
“Offshore wind developers were just handed a multi-billion dollar tax credit from US taxpayers and Vineyard Wind turns around and gives those dollars to Dutch vessel owners and foreign mariners,” OMSA president Aaron Smith said in a statement.
 
“American offshore energy should mean American jobs and opportunity, unfortunately once again we are seeing offshore developers knowingly skirt American law to save a ... more [truncated due to possible copyright]
     
Industry group accuses Massachusetts offshore wind project of exploiting a ‘loophole’ to employ lower-cost foreign workers
 
A US industry group is calling out the Vineyard Wind project for exploiting a “loophole” to aid in constructing the Massachusetts offshore wind project.
 
The Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA) accused the joint venture between Avangrid and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners of skirting federal laws and favouring foreign workers over US mariners in using the 6,000-bhp, Netherlands-flagged Norne (built 2011).
 
The group alleged that the Koerts International Towage Service-controlled vessel’s use is putting US national security and sovereignty at risk.
 
“Offshore wind developers were just handed a multi-billion dollar tax credit from US taxpayers and Vineyard Wind turns around and gives those dollars to Dutch vessel owners and foreign mariners,” OMSA president Aaron Smith said in a statement.
 
“American offshore energy should mean American jobs and opportunity, unfortunately once again we are seeing offshore developers knowingly skirt American law to save a (taxpayer supported) buck at the expense of American jobs.”
 
Smith accused Vineyard Wind — which is working to build a wind farm 24 km south of Martha’s Vineyard that would supply power to 400,000 homes — of lying to Congress after it said it would use foreign vessels only in rare circumstances, preferring US vessels.
 
The Norne, he argued, could have been replaced with the roughly 2,000 US tugs crewed by US citizens.
 
It is one of three vessels working as a unit, alongside the 7,000-bhp US-flagged tug Nicole Foss (built 2017) and the UK-flagged, 9,156-gt cable-lay vessel Cable Enterprise (built 2001)
 
Vineyard Wind spokesman Andrew Doba argued the Norne is not a simple tug, but instead one designed specifically for cable-laying work on the project.
 
“These claims are simply not true,” he said.
 
“The vessel mentioned is part of an integrated unit that’s worked in tandem with the Cable Enterprise for a decade and is designed specifically for the highly technical nature of cable installation.”
 
The OMSA said the American Offshore Worker Fairness Act, proposed legislation introduced into the House of Representatives in February, would close the alleged loophole used by Vineyard Wind.
 
The bill would require foreign vessels to crew their ships with US mariners or those from the vessel’s home country while in US waters.
 
It would also mandate foreign mariners working in the US get a Transportation Worker Identification Credential, which is only optional at this time. And the bill would limit the number of visas issued for foreign vessels operating in US waters, have vessel owners to prove their ownership structures annually and require the US Coast Guard to inspect foreign-flagged vessels.

Content truncated due to possible copyright. Use source link for full article.


Source:https://www.tradewindsnews.co…

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