Puerto Rico’s ocean energy development enters next phase

Image: DDEC

A consortium comprised of WSP USA Building, Inc. and Marvel Architects has been selected to develop the Puerto Rico Ocean Technology Complex (PROtech).

WSP USA Building is a more than 130-year old company with expertise in engineering large infrastructure projects. Puerto Rico-based Marvel Architects likewise has design experience in such projects.

The consortium was selected from an initial line-up of 34 companies, which was shortlisted down to three.

The estimated $300 million development to be located in Yabucoa on Puerto Rico’s southeast coast will be based around a 5-10MW ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) plant. The aim is to position the island state as a leader in the development of the technology, set to be the world’s largest to date, and spin-off technologies and products.

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“We thank the 34 companies that showed interest in being the developers of the world’s largest OTEC pilot plant that will create an ecosystem that integrates research, innovation and economic development through the creation of industries that derive from the use of deep water,” said Manuel A. Laboy Rivera, Secretary of Puerto Rico’s Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC).

“We selected WSP USA Building/Marvel Architects because the collaboration between these two companies creates a highly qualified team with international experience and the necessary capacity to develop this cutting edge project.”

The next, third phase of the project will involve a preliminary agreement between the developers and the Puerto Rico Land Authority to commence negotiations for the lease of the land where the development will take place. This phase also includes feasibility studies, development of the park’s structural design and the start of the application for the corresponding permits. This process should be completed in the second quarter of 2022.

Then the fourth phase will begin, which includes planning the construction and the OTEC systems, among other details. According to the development roadmap, the project should reach the final phase with a call for tenants and industries by mid-2027.

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