• A vision for an expanded renewables port base to create a Wales-based supply chain for the emerging floating offshore wind industry (FLOW) has been lodged with the UK Government.
• Pembroke Port is the closest port to the Celtic Sea development area and investing in its upgrade now will mean it can be ready in time for the FLOW test and demonstration phase.
• At the heart of the Celtic Freeport Pembroke Dock tax site, the scheme will generate 1,000 long-term, green jobs.
• The funding application will deliver a facility for the Test and Demonstration developers without which, supply chain opportunities will be lost to overseas Ports.
The Port of Milford Haven has submitted a significant multi-million pound funding application to the UK Government’s FLOWMIS (Floating Offshore Wind Manufacturing Investment Scheme) initiative to expand Pembroke Port.
This ambitious project aims to create a cutting-edge port base that will play a pivotal role in nurturing a Wales-based supply chain dedicated to the burgeoning floating offshore wind sector. The proposal also aligns with the vision of the Celtic Freeport.
The proposed expansion of Pembroke Port will cater to the rapidly evolving demands of this new green energy sector, Floating Offshore Wind (FLOW). With an emphasis on sustainability and innovation, this development seeks to provide a delivery platform for the 400MW test and demonstration phase and a fit-for-purpose site for integration, and operations and maintenance activities in support of the commercial-scale phase over the coming decades.
The expanded port is strategically positioned to become a linchpin in the creation of a robust supply chain within the FLOW industry. By nurturing partnerships and collaborations among local businesses and international players, the expansion aims to bolster the region's expertise and capabilities in this cutting-edge sector, while boosting economic growth and contributing to Wales' renewable energy targets.
Commenting on the submission, Tom Sawyer, CEO of the Port of Milford Haven, stated:
"This is another important milestone in the growing strength and evolution of the UK’s Energy Port. As the closest port to the Celtic Sea development sites and home to a heavy engineering skills-base, we are thrilled to present this application in response to the FLOWMIS initiative. It represents a pivotal step towards accelerating the growth of the floating offshore wind industry in Wales. The expansion of Pembroke Port will not only drive economic development, but also foster the emergence of a green supply chain that aligns seamlessly with the goals of the Celtic Freeport.
“The Port of Milford Haven will be sharing its plans with the public over the coming months.”
The Port of Milford Haven’s FLOWMIS application has received cross-party political support:
Rt Hon Simon Hart, Conservative MP for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, said:
"To create a new green industry for Wales, we need enhanced port infrastructure like the renewables terminal at Pembroke Port. The ambition of this project matches the UK Government's goal of expanding the offshore wind industry from the Celtic Sea and the wider green economy."
Sam Kurtz, Conservative MS for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, said:
“The port of Milford Haven’s FLOWMIS bid is vital for Pembrokeshire, and our local and national economies. This bid will enable Pembrokeshire to become the offshore floating wind hub of Wales and the UK and is expected to generate thousands of new jobs, putting Wales at the forefront of sustainable energy initiatives.
The submission of the port of Milford Haven’s FLOWMIS bid is a crucial step in this process. I wish them every success in this and give my full support in the pursuit of this sustainable energy initiative as we look forward to the future of energy production in Wales”.
Rt Hon Stephen Crabb, Conservative MP for Preseli Pembrokeshire, commented:
"The UK Government has taken an important step in creating this funding programme to help get British ports get ready for floating offshore wind. The Port of Milford Haven is clearly one of the most important locations for unlocking the Celtic Sea opportunity, so I hope Ministers will look favourably on their application. I look forward to championing this bid at Westminster to help get it across the line.”
Paul Davies, Conservative MS for Preseli Pembrokeshire, commented:
"I wholeheartedly back the vision behind an expanded renewables terminal at Pembroke Port. If Wales is to land the floating offshore wind supply chain, we need port infrastructure as close as possible to the Celtic Sea development area. That's why I urge the UK Government to back this bid to take the UK's Energy Port forward into a new chapter,"
Cllr Paul Miller, Labour Deputy Leader, Cabinet Member for Place, the Region and Climate Change, said:
“Our county has a proud heritage of playing a significant part in the energy sector in Wales and the UK.
“This initiative, which will expand Pembroke Port’s capabilities, will have the potential to benefit Pembrokeshire enormously, providing highly-skilled jobs, attracting investment to our economy and supporting the local supply chain.
“Positioning our county at the centre of floating offshore wind production will also support the UK to meet its net zero carbon emissions targets.”
"Anchoring the floating offshore wind supply chain in south west Wales is critical to our joint endeavour to tackle the climate emergency", commented Eluned Morgan, MS for Mid and West Wales.
She added: "The floating offshore wind (FLOW) prize is huge. We need to move decisively and at scale. That's why I back the vision for a dedicated integration, operations and maintenance FLOW terminal at Pembroke Port and call on the UK Government to back the Port of Milford Haven's FLOWMIS bid to a take another step towards delivering this green industry for Pembrokeshire's future generations."
Cefin Campbell, Plaid Cymru MS for Mid & West Wales, added:
“The forthcoming expansion of FLOW in the Celtic Sea will represent a step-change in sustainable energy production, and Mid and West Wales is primed to become a world leader in developing this exciting new green technology and infrastructure.
“I am keen to ensure that we are in the very best position to make the most of this opportunity, and I welcome and support this proposed expansion of Pembroke Port. I am clear that the rapid expansion of this new green energy sector must benefit our communities by ensuring high quality, high skilled and high paying jobs, opportunities for education and training, and the development of local supply chains.
“Securing this upgrade to the facilities at Pembroke Port will be an important step in the development of a made-in-Wales FLOW sector.”
Jane Dodds, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrat and MS for Mid & West Wales, said:
“This is an incredible step forward for Pembrokeshire and a generational opportunity to lead the development of floating offshore wind in Wales. The project marks an incredible investment in communities across Pembrokeshire and Neath Port Talbot, and I look forward to seeing the impact that the project has on the local economy, and the opportunities available to communities to benefit from the investment. The project has my full support.”
Notes to editor
• The £160 million Floating Offshore Wind Manufacturing Investment Scheme (FLOWMIS) aims to support the delivery of port infrastructure to facilitate floating offshore wind. The scheme is administered by Department for Energy Security and Net Zero.
• The Celtic Sea FLOW development phases:
o 400MW – Test and Demonstration phase – four separate 100MW scale projects delivered by Blue Gem Wind, Floventis and Flotation Energy
o 4GW – Commercial-scale phase – four separate 1GW developments planned by 2035.
• The Port of Milford Haven
The Port of Milford Haven is the UK’s leading 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 5,000 Welsh jobs.
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 and continual enhance port and marine infrastructure.
The Port of Milford Haven also owns and operates Pembroke Port
• Pembroke Port
Pembroke Port operates on a 24/7 hour basis and has an established reputation in cargo handling, heavy lifts, passenger and freight ferry operations.
Investment to create a world-class base for marine renewable energy at Pembroke Port, as part of the £60m Swansea Bay City Deal-backed Pembroke Dock Marine project, is nearing completion, and businesses in the marine renewables sector and its supply chain are increasingly choosing to base themselves at the port due to its strategic location.
Pembroke Dock Marine is expected to generate £73.5m a year in the regional economy and create more than 1,800 jobs in the next 15 years.
There is huge potential for Pembrokeshire to build on this success. With additional investment in infrastructure, Pembrokeshire’s proximity to Celtic Sea generation sites (c45km), deep-water, heavy engineering cluster, energy transmission and distribution in situ and a growing globally renowned business cluster backed by R&D all point positively towards massive potential for growth.
With the right government support, the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult identified that 3,000 jobs and £682m in supply chain opportunities for Wales and Cornwall over the next ten years from FLOW.
• Celtic Freeport
Celtic Freeport is a project that will accelerate innovation and encourage significant investment in Wales, while fast-tracking modern skills for new green industries and national decarbonisation.
In September 2022, the Welsh and UK governments invited proposals for a freeport in Wales. The closing date was 24 November 2022, with the winning bids announced on 22 March 2023. Celtic Freeport was one of two Welsh freeports selected to develop a business case, ahead of formal designation. This will allow the freeport to become operational. This process will take a year.
The Celtic Freeport is a public-private consortium whose partners include Associated British Ports, Neath Port Talbot Council, Pembrokeshire County Council and the Port of Milford Haven.
With development sites – or tax sites – throughout Neath Port Talbot and Pembrokeshire, the Celtic Freeport will create 16,000 jobs, generate £5.5 billion of investment and accelerate the roll-out of floating offshore wind.