The Port of Eastport was scheduled to handle the import of a shipment of wind turbine blades from Santos, Brazil in late April.

The good news comes in the wake of the March announcement by the Domtar Corporation of the May 5 “indefinite closing” of its mill in Baileyville. The mill has provided the port with its primary export, kraft pulp.

Eastport Port Director Chris Gardner welcomed the announcement, adding, “The timing is right.”

“This all started approximately three years ago,” he says. “Talks began with First Wind [a wind energy company based in Newton, Mass.], and then moved to General Electric, and they became our client,” Gardner says. “The blades will be shipped from Eastport to projects around the region.”

Gardner added that if all goes well with the April shipment, he expects a second shipload in June.

The total of 108 blades, each 125 feet long, are scheduled to arrive aboard the M/V Jade C., according to Tom Critchley, Operations Manager for Federal Marine Terminals, the port’s shipping agent. He adds that FMT is prepared to deal with the logistics of off-loading the blades.

“We’ll be using mobile truck cranes, then our truckers will move the blades on flatbeds from the pier into the yard,” Critchley said. “There, 54 trucks contracted by General Electric will transport them, two to a truck, to their destinations.”

Gardner sees this development as a new beginning for the port. “We’re going to show that together with the highly skilled Northeastern Longshoremen’s Association we’re ready to handle any task that comes along.”