June 10 - Metro Ports will provide handling and stevedore services for 53 m wind turbine blades through the Port of Galveston, for Siemens Energy Inc.

The wind turbines blades, manufactured by Siemens in Fort Madison, Iowa, are destined for three wind projects in Brazil and are being transported to the port via the BNSF Railway network. Siemens plans to export 246 of the blades between May and July 2013. The 53 m blades are the longest ever handled through the Port of Galveston.

In preparation for the project, Port of Galveston has refurbished two existing rail track spurs and added two further spurs to accommodate the oversized cargoes.

BNSF Railways negotiated special clearances to ensure the blades travelled safely across the US Midwest; Metro Port deployed special trailers to minimise the risk of damaging the cargoes whilst transporting though the terminal.

The blades will be loaded on board chartered Intermarine LLC vessels for on forwarding to Brazil. Intermarine is providing port captains who will oversee the loading operations.

"This is a great project for all involved Parties and the tremendous undertaking will clearly position Metro Ports to undertake even larger projects," said Metro Ports director of business development, Charles Tillotson.