The Port of Milford Haven remains the UK’s largest energy port. It has taken a proactive strategy to maintain this position and increase the diversity of its energy portfolio, including both traditional and renewable energies.
The Port recognises the continued importance of the Waterway’s hydrocarbon industry. Valero’s investment of £127m into a Combined Heat and Power cogeneration facility is a clear indicator of the industry’s focus towards increasingly efficient management of resources and emissions. The Port welcomes this development and its clear commitment to the region and the supply chain. The Port’s own investment in supporting the industry continues with its involvement with the Haven Energy Forum and continued focus on maintaining maximum safe traffic management along the Waterway.
2017 was notable for the development of two key energy initiatives; Pembroke Dock Marine, and aligning Milford Waterfront with Welsh Government’s Smart Living program. The £76m Pembroke Dock Marine development is one of eleven Swansea Bay City Deal projects, with the business case submitted in late 2017. The project represents an opportunity for Pembrokeshire to establish a key UK engineering hub for the emerging marine energy industry, while also creating appropriate operational spaces for other blue economy industries. The growth potential, looking towards the success of the wind turbine sector, is significant. Given the changing geo-political framework, the development would be a major contributor to economic growth as well as potentially establishing a new export industry. The Milford Waterfront progress towards a smarter, sustainable development also made key steps forward with the start of the piSCES (Smart Cluster Energy System) project. Launched in June 2017, the project is expected to run until 2020 and is bringing together academic partners Cardiff University and Waterford Institute (Ireland), and implementation partners Port of Milford Haven and Bord Iascaigh Mhara (Ireland’s Seafood Development Agency). This Ireland-Wales project is funded by Interreg IVC - which supports interregional cooperation - and is financed through the European Regional Development Fund. See below for more information.
The Port has attended key national and international industry conferences and exhibitions during 2017 alongside Welsh Government, Marine Energy Wales and other key businesses. Focus has been a combination of showcasing the potential of Pembroke Dock Marine while also profiling the benefits that already exist in the region, and are already attracting developers for early phase design, build and testing of renewable energy devices. Developers based in Pembrokeshire saw significant advances during the year: Sir Steve Redgrave visited the Milford Haven Waterway to officially launch Wave-tricity’s test device in 2017, Marine Power Systems launched their device, and Bombora Wave Power relocated from Australia to access the region’s excellence in energy source and supply chain and in anticipation of Pembroke Dock Marine.
The Port has been working to maximise the long term resilience of Pembrokeshire’s high-skill supply chain. The components being undertaken as part of Pembroke Dock Marine are focused on supporting this and rounding out the supply chain offer in Pembrokeshire.
Advances in 2017 include: Marine Energy Wales receiving £1.2m to develop a device test area on the Waterway, WaveHub’s plug and play Wave Array Demonstration Zone receiving a £324,000 award for a major feasibility study, and the Port’s further investment of £650,000 in the consenting process to create enhanced facilities at its Pembroke Port site. Separately, the Port has part funded a supply chain collaboration event with Marine Energy Wales.
On a more operational note, investment in the Port’s energy infrastructure continued with the introduction of low carbon land and water based fleet. Return on investment remains strong with the capital investment having been paid off in 2017 for the 2011 £1.5m investment in building mounted photovoltaic panels, earlier than anticipated. The Port remains focused on recognising the potential of alternative energies both in its own operations and as a potential for regional economic growth.
Pembroke Dock Marine
Pembroke Dock Marine is the culmination of intense collaboration with the marine energy industry. It recognises a significant gap in the UK energy sector and the clear potential within Pembrokeshire to address the issue.
The project will establish a dedicated marine energy cluster offering the facilities and spaces to take a developer from device inception through to testing, and onwards to long term operations and decommissioning. There is a specific focus on bringing together industry and academia to drive innovation. Combining these two areas of focus (increased innovation and maximised operational efficiency) will be a key part in achieving full scale commercialisation of marine energy.
Key partners: Marine Energy Wales, ORE Catapult, the Port of Milford Haven, and WaveHub.
piSCES is funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg Ireland Wales Cooperation Programme. It is being developed principally to reduce utility overheads for the shore-based fish processing industry. This will be achieved through monitoring and control of energy use via the development of a bespoke software platform. The software is being designed to predict future energy consumption, maximise use of cheap off-peak power and renewable energy, and automate energy intensive processes such as ice production. Individual sites will then be able to join together in the formation of ‘smart energy clusters’ - buying and selling energy between partners within a private network regulated by a self-owned energy company.
Milford Waterfront Smart Living
Milford Waterfront is a flagship development for the Port. The retail, leisure and residential space is uniquely positioned and allows the Port to continue its low carbon focus. Adjacent to the Port’s solar farm, the generated energy will form a key part in establishing Milford Waterfront as a Smarter, Sustainable Destination. With clear environmental benefits, the reduced associated energy costs will also be of great value to the onsite businesses and residents.