RWE, Wales’ biggest power producer, is partnering with the UK’s largest port operator, Associated British Ports (ABP) and UK’s largest energy port, the Port of Milford Haven, to investigate the scaling-up of port facilities in support of a pipeline of gigawatt-scale floating wind projects in the Celtic Sea.
Working together under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) the industry leaders will investigate the potential for transforming infrastructure at ABP Port Talbot and Pembroke Dock into hubs for the manufacture, assembly and loadout of high-tech floating wind turbines and foundations, bound for the Celtic Sea, as well as floating operation & maintenance capability. The collaboration demonstrates a major commitment from all three companies to share knowledge and expertise, in support of broader industrial growth and investment in Wales.
Tom Glover, UK Country Chair, RWE, said: “RWE is committed to working in partnership with Welsh Government and industry as the country looks to meet all of its electricity needs from renewables by 2035. For ABP, Milford Haven and RWE, it is clear that there is vast economic potential from offshore wind in Wales; not just in providing a renewable and sustainable energy source, but also protecting and creating skilled jobs and careers and driving fresh investment in the region.
This Memorandum of Understanding solidifies our intention to focus on and invest in industrial Welsh ports, local and national supply chain and coastal communities. Alongside the ports, we look forward to generating widespread opportunities for regional and national growth as a result of floating wind deployment in the Celtic Sea.”
RWE is Wales’ leading developer and operator of renewable energy, and is proposing to build commercial-scale floating wind projects off the Welsh coast, as part of The Crown Estate’s forthcoming Celtic Sea leasing round. If successful in the leasing round, the projects will play a key role in realising RWE’s Pembroke Net Zero Centre, as well as decarbonizing net zero progress in wider industrial processes and transportation across South Wales. ABP and the Port of Milford Haven are developing plans for new infrastructure at Port Talbot and Pembroke Dock which could service a pipeline of floating offshore wind projects, off the Welsh coast.
The companies will together share knowledge and expertise, to investigate current and future port capabilities and propose solutions to deliver RWE’s preferred floating wind technologies out of South Wales ports, as well as a much broader pipeline of renewable energy technologies and projects across England and Wales, including hydrogen. This will include undertaking technical assessments, feasibility studies and economic impact studies of port capabilities and readiness to support the development of floating offshore wind projects, in order to maximise the benefits in terms of jobs, skills and long-term future investments.
The partnership will also allow the companies to provide expert technical assistance and support to The Crown Estate, during their process of Celtic Sea site leading and evaluation.
Henrik Pedersen, CEO Associated British Ports said: “This MOU with RWE marks an important step towards realising the potential of Floating Offshore Wind (FLOW) for South Wales. ABP’s ports in Wales have always been a vital part of Wales’s industrial heartland, and Port Talbot is at the heart of the opportunity that the Celtic Sea offers to revolutionise the regional economy and bring the UK closer to net zero. We are tremendously excited about the future of FLOW for South Wales. Developing the ports is critical: it’s the foundation for the whole Celtic Sea ambition.”
Andy Jones, CEO at the Port of Milford Haven, said: “Our MoU with RWE marks the start of a very exciting future for the economy of South Wales. Maximising the existing skills, industrial and natural assets that surround the Port will ensure Wales realises the full economic benefit of Floating Offshore Windm, providing significant supply chain opportunities, well-paid careers for future generations and a stronger, greener Welsh economy.
Developing our ports is key to unlocking a multi-billion floating wind industry taking shape in the Celtic Sea, and we are pleased to be collaborating with RWE and ABP to secure the long-term sustainability and prosperity of our region for the next 50 years.”
This announcement comes alongside Renewables UK Ports Conference 2022 which aims to highlight the importance of offshore wind in delivering green jobs, reviving coastal communities, and strengthening UK supply chains.