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port of milford haven
9 January 2024
Renewable Energy

A Green Industrial Revolution for South-West Wales


Roger Maggs MBE, 


Celtic Freeport

2023 has been a significant year for South-West Wales as the Celtic Freeport has made progress towards realising its ambition to deliver a cleaner, greener and more energy-independent Britain.

This spring, our freeport bid covering the ports of Milford Haven and Port Talbot was shortlisted by the Welsh and UK Governments. Since then, we have continued to build momentum to create a green investment and innovation corridor along the south-west coast of Wales to support a cleaner future based on the hydrogen economy, sustainable fuels, carbon capture, cleaner steel and low-carbon logistics.

Central to the Freeport’s vision is how to accelerate significant inward investment in new manufacturing facilities to support the roll-out of floating offshore wind (FLOW). With the potential to deliver £20 billion of direct investment from deployment alone, it’s an exciting time to be in Wales. Recent announcements go some way to deliver the framework for the vital FLOW port infrastructure to flourish.

Throughout the year, we asked for a number of items to be addressed by both governments to move from the regulatory drawing table to commercial cases. To that end, we have welcomed announcements from the governments, The Crown Estate and UKRI on renewable subsidy reform; fast-tracking Grid connections; future offshore wind supply chain reform; support for cleaner domestic steel production; and support to test the feasibility of a Cross Haven Interconnector (MUST).

We have also seen vital FLOW milestones achieved over the past 12 months, as the sector moves from the test and demonstration phase projects to commercial-scale installations. Long-term capacity is key and the recent 4.5 GW FLOW seabed leasing commitment from the Celtic Sea, was given a further boost by the additional 12 GW announced in the Autumn Statement.

While we celebrate these achievements, the Celtic Freeport team is focused on the challenges ahead.

Firstly, I’m looking forward to welcoming the new CEO to support the delivery of Celtic Freeport’s transformational vision. Second on my wish list is to see all layers of government assign more resources to the all-important planning and licencing regime. And lastly, but certainly not least, gaining approval of our business case from both governments to move from bid and development phase to delivery. 2024 promises to be a packed year as we seek to realise a green industrial revolution for South-West Wales.

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