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Contractors appointed to build £20m facility to help industries decarbonise

Credit: Swansea University based Steels and Metals Institute

Morgan Sindall Construction has been commissioned to design and build a new £20m Swansea Bay City Deal backed facility in Neath Port Talbot which will help industry decarbonise.

Led by Neath Port Talbot Council in partnership with Swansea University, the facility will be known as SWITCH (South Wales Industrial Transition from Carbon Hub) Harbourside and will be located close to Tata Steel’s Port Talbot plant.

SWITCH Harbouside will be a research facility for decarbonising the metals and steel industry.

The building forms part of the City Deal Supporting Innovation and Low Carbon Growth programme and is aimed at establishing the region as a leader in low carbon growth and the green economy.

It is expected to take 18 months to complete.

SWITCH Harbourside will be a purpose-built open access centre establishing a collaborative network of expertise across academia, industry and government, aiming to accelerate the region’s transition to net zero.

Morgan Sindell, which recently delivered Baglan Energy Park’s award winning Bay Technology Centre, will include sustainable energy technologies in the building’s design. This will support the council’s Decarbonisation and Renewable Energy (DARE) strategy by incorporating technology such as photovoltaic panels to provide a significant clean source of energy and eliminating any fossil fuels used on site during the build.

Robert Williams, area director at Morgan Sindall Construction, said: “It’s a privilege to play a key role in the SWITCH Harbourside development which will help the region move towards a Net Zero future.

“We are working closely with Neath Port Talbot Council and partners Swansea University to ensure we bring together our experience and knowledge to deliver the best possible outcome for the project. This builds on years of development as a responsible business to lessen carbon use in the construction and operation of buildings wherever possible in each project to help us build towards a better future.”

The facility will support such sectors as the steel and metals industry to decarbonise processes, develop a circular economy, and create advanced materials for a net zero society.
Neath Port Talbot Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Economic Growth, Cllr Jeremy Hurley, said: “The exciting SWITCH Harbourside project will support the transformation and decarbonisation of our important steel and metals industry and associated supply chain.

“This project complements Neath Port Talbot Council’s ongoing DARE strategy and vision to be seen as an attractive place to live, work and do business in.”

Professor Helen Griffiths, Pro Vice Chancellor Research and Innovation, Swansea University, said: “SWITCH Harbourside will showcase what can be achieved in a net zero future, both in its design and its purpose.

“SWITCH Harbourside will build on Swansea University’s track record of bringing together academia, industry, local authorities and government. It will make Welsh research expertise more accessible to business and industry, to accelerate our transition to net zero.”