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CBP expands Santa Teresa port of entry to accommodate oversize cargo

CBP expands Santa Teresa port of entry to accommodate oversize cargo
TPI Composites Inc., which ships oversized wind turbine blades from Mexico to the U.S., has formed a partnership with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the General Services Administration to expand the land entry port at Santa Teresa, New Mexico, to accommodate oversized loads. (Courtesy: U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

SANTA TERESA, N.M. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in late June announced the expansion of the Santa Teresa Land Port of Entry (LPOE) to streamline the processing of oversized cargo.

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The small-scale infrastructure improvement is implemented through a partnership between CBP, the General Services Administration (GSA) and TPI Composites Inc. The agreement was formed in December 2020 under CBP’s Donations Acceptance Program.

This agreement marks the first time a private entity has partnered with CBP and GSA under the Donations Acceptance Program authority. The project consists of expanding the concrete pavement, installing a new gate and chain link fence, and relocating a light pole to increase the turn radius through the LPOE.

“The expansion of the infrastructure at the Santa Teresa Port of Entry is critically important to ensuring the facilitation of lawful trade and travel,” said Fernando Thome, Santa Teresa Port Director. “These improvements 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.”

Delaware-based TPI Composites ships oversized wind turbine blades produced in Juarez, Mexico, through the Santa Teresa LPOE; the company’s largest shipments measure about 78 yards long. As the size of wind turbine blades has increased over the years, some shipments have been delayed at the port. Expanding the entrance of the port will facilitate the movement of oversized shipments and improve the flow of traffic.

“This project not only benefits the commercial interests on both sides of the border, but it also reflects a high level of collaboration and cooperation between the USA and Mexico, and between the public and private sectors,” said Charlie Hart, GSA’s Southern border executive. “It truly requires a team effort to enable such a project to reach this stage.”

Although considered a small-scale project, the infrastructure improvements will provide benefits to all traffic and shipments processed through the port. Under the Donations Acceptance Program, small-scale projects are identified by a minimal size, scope, complexity and cost of $5 million or less. These projects are approved, designed and constructed in a shorter time frame than larger-scale projects.

“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 Paulo Silva, senior vice president for TPI Composites. “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.”

CBP and GSA are authorized to accept donations of real property, personal property, including monetary donations, and non-personal services from private sector and government entities. Accepted donations may be used for port of entry construction, alterations, operations, and maintenance activities.

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