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DOT pledges US$230m in new port grants for 2021

THE US Department of Transportation (DOT) said ports will be able to apply for new project grants this year from a pool of US$230 million as the Biden administration looks for projects to kickstart the nation's offshore wind industry

07 April 2021 - 19:05
THE US Department of Transportation (DOT) said ports will be able to apply for new project grants this year from a pool of US$230 million as the Biden administration looks for projects to kickstart the nation's offshore wind industry.

The notice of funding opportunity from the DOT's Maritime Administration (MARAD) allows states and port authorities to apply for the grants through MARAD's Port Infrastructure Development Programme, reports IHS Media.



'This funding will build upon local investments in infrastructure to deliver long-term economic benefits to American workers and communities, while also addressing climate and equity,' DOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement.



As part of the review process for the grants, the DOT said it will consider how any projects that receive funding will address climate change and other environmental goals of the Biden administration.



The 2021 funding was announced as the White House said it is starting a new push to kickstart offshore wind projects. The port grants can be used for storage areas, laydown yards, and docking for offshore wind vessels, the White House said.



The DOT said 12 per cent of previous port grant applicants planned to use the money toward bolstering shore-side operations for offshore winds and 'this year's grant funding will bolster these efforts.'



The New York-New Jersey region was singled out for the Biden administration's attention on offshore wind. It said the Department of Interior is prioritising offshore wind projects for the coastal area between Long Island and New Jersey. The White House said a lease sale for offshore wind projects in the region could come between late 2021 and early 2022.



'State and local authorities are working to position ports to take advantage of a clean energy economy,' said Acting Maritime Administrator Lucinda Lessley in a statement. 'These infrastructure grants will continue to bolster their efforts while creating jobs in these communities and the US maritime industry as a whole.'



The deadline for the grant applications is July 30. The DOT said the minimum award size will be $1 million and that the grants will fund up to 80 per cent of the total project cost.


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