EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – The U.S. government and a company that manufactures giant wind blades are teaming up to make improvements at the Santa Teresa, New Mexico, port of entry.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection said it has entered a partnership with the General Services Administration and TPI Composites to expand the truck entrance to the border crossing, where the company incorporated in Delaware and headquartered in Arizona brings in wind-power turbine blades from Juarez, Mexico.
The blades are well over 160-feet long and the flatbed semis that bring them across the border often come in at an angle just to fit through the port entrance. The blades are used in turbines that generate electricity through wind power in wind farms throughout the United States.
The work includes concrete pavement, a new gate, chain link fence and relocating a light pole to increase commercial trucks’ turn radius, CBP said. The improvements are being paid for primarily by the user.
The agreement marks the first time a private entity has partnered with CBP and GSA under the Donations Acceptance Program authority, CBP said in a statement Wednesday.
The project “will greatly improve our ability to process oversized cargo in a safe, efficient and expeditious manner – in effect, positively impacting our country’s economic security,” Santa Teresa Port Director Fernando Thome said.
CBP says TPI brings in blades up to 234 feet long (78 yards) and, as product size has increased over the years, some shipments have been delayed coming through the port. The work should facilitate the entry of the trucks bearing the blades and improve commercial traffic flow.
“This project not only benefits the commercial interests on both sides of the border, but also reflects a high level of cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico and between the public and private sectors,” said Charlie Hart, GSA’s executive officer for the southern border.
The agencies did not immediately say how much the improvements will cost. The Donations Acceptance Program, however, has a $5 million cap for small-scale projects such the one coming to Santa Teresa.
“Successful completion of this project at our port of entry positions TPI Composites, Inc. as a wind blade manufacturer that can effectively accomplish big projects and deliver longer wind blades,” said TPI Composites, Inc. Senior Vice President Paulo Silva. “By working together and coordinating efforts with our CBP authorities we have completed a high impact project for our company that will facilitate trade and attract more business.”