Port gives green light for cash to kick start £76m marine renewable energy project
19 December 2017
Funding to get a major project underway that is set to make Pembroke Dock a centre for marine renewable energy research and development has been given the go ahead by the Port of Milford Haven’s Board of Directors.
The Port has allocated £650,000 to kick start dockyard improvements which will form part of Pembroke Dock Marine, the £76m Swansea Bay City Deal project which will see the Port of Milford Haven partner with Marine Energy Wales, ORE Catapult and Wave Hub to develop a world class centre for marine energy research and development, fabrication, testing and deployment, in Pembrokeshire. The funding will maintain momentum on the crucial planning and consenting work and will help ensure building work can commence quickly once the City Deal business plan has been signed off.
Chief Executive Alec Don made the announcement. “By releasing this funding, the Port is demonstrating its confidence in the project,” said Alec. “The funding creates vital impetus for Pembroke Port and Pembroke Dock Marine, allowing us to tackle extensive planning legwork now, so that we can hit the road running when the full City Deal funding comes through.
“Pembrokeshire’s capacity to capitalise on its unique location and supply chain, next to one of the Country’s richest areas for marine renewable energy, is limited only by its intent to put in place the infrastructure, partnerships and funding necessary. The Port is only one of the partners involved in the project, of course, accounting for 37% of the total package, but we are stating, in the clearest terms possible, that we are committed to making Pembroke Dock Marine a world-leading centre in this fast-growing sector,” continued Alec. “We look forward to working with our partners to make this project a success.”
Pembroke Dock Marine creates an opportunity for Pembrokeshire to be at the heart of an emerging industry with a potential market predicted to be worth around €53bn each year. Existing businesses serving the energy industry would build on current world-class capabilities to enter these new markets. The link with academic partners would help develop valuable skills among school leavers, improving their prospects of moving into high value employment without leaving the region.
The Port of Milford Haven’s Engineering Director Tim Bownes, who is heading up the Pembroke Port element of the project, said there will be a comprehensive period of consultation, during which the views of stakeholders, including the general public, will be sought.
“This is an exciting project that could transform the area and it will bring opportunities for local people and businesses,” said Tim. “We will be asking all interested parties to come forward if they have any questions about the project. Our door will be open. There will also be formal consultations taking place in due course.”
Notes to Editors
Port of Milford Haven
The Port of Milford Haven is the UK’s top energy port and Wales’ busiest port handling around 20% of Britain’s seaborne trade in oil and gas. It is widely recognised in the industry as the energy capital of the UK.
The Port, along with the cluster of energy-related businesses along the Waterway, is a key driver of economic activity in Pembrokeshire, attracting inward investment and supporting over 4,000 jobs.
The Port of Milford Haven also owns and operates Pembroke Port and Milford Dock. Activities such as cargo handling, ferry operations, fish landing and cruise calls as well as a first class marina are spread across these two sites.
One of the most prominent on the West Coast, the Port is in the heart of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, the only Coastal National Park in Great Britain. It is marked as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and has many areas designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
The Port of Milford Haven is a trust port – an independent, commercially run organisation that has statutory responsibilities governed by its Acts, to maintain and improve navigation and the provision of Port and Harbour services and facilities. Additionally, the Port provides significant financial and in-kind support to a wide variety of local causes. All profits are retained within the business to fund these objectives.
Pembroke Dock Marine
Pembroke Dock Marine is a £76m project to transform Pembroke Dock into marine renewable energy development and testing centre of excellence. It brings together four partners: The Port of Milford Haven owned Pembroke Port will be host to the project, which will include purpose built premises and lift and launch capabilities within the existing docks. ORE Catapult will lead the innovation and research elements of the project, developing a Marine Energy Engineering Centre of Excellence (MEECE) knowledge base that will help developers identify solutions. Wave Hub is leading the development of an 90km2 offshore demonstration zone which will connect up to 100 megawatts of full scale renewable energy arrays. Marine Energy Wales is developing a Marine Energy Test Area, a series of consented zones within the waterway for component and device testing.
The project team will also work alongside Swansea University and Pembrokeshire College to develop academic links both to enhance research and development and nurture career opportunities for future job seekers within the sector.
For further information, visit www.mhpa.co.uk or contact:
Port of Milford Haven