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Freeport status will put region at forefront of global green energy revolution

The new Celtic Freeport will put south west Wales at the forefront of the world’s green energy revolution, the Deputy Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, Cllr Alun Llewelyn, told a special meeting of the council on Thursday, March 23rd , 2023.

Cllr Llewelyn said in a statement : “The Celtic Freeport – a consortium made up of Neath Port Talbot Council and its partners Associated British Ports, Pembrokeshire Council and the Port of Milford Haven – has just been named as one of two Welsh freeports in a joint announcement by the UK and Welsh Governments.

“This is a fantastic success.

“It is hoped the new Celtic Freeport, with a package of support involving simplified customs procedures, relief on customs duties, tax and rate relief and wider government support for trade, investments and innovation, will create around 16,000 new jobs and £5.5bn of new inward investment.

“Part of the Celtic Freeport project involves accelerating plans for a vast floating offshore windfarm in the Celtic sea with turbines twice the size of Swansea’s Meridian Quay Tower being launched from and manufactured in Port Talbot.

“This will put Neath Port Talbot and south west Wales at the forefront of the world’s green energy revolution.

“The joint announcement by the UK and Welsh Governments reflects both the quality and the strength of the Celtic Freeport bid and indeed, it was named in the Freeport announcement as the strongest of the three bids. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in the Celtic Freeport bid project.

“The benefits of the Celtic Freeport vision could be truly transformational for every valley, town and village in Neath Port Talbot in terms of being involved in the floating offshore wind supply chain and for south west Wales as a whole where a green innovation and investment corridor between the twin Freeport sites of Port Talbot and Milford Haven will develop and thrive.

“A lot of hard work was done to develop this bid so quickly and now even more hard work has to be done to develop the business case for the Celtic Freeport and to establish a company and investment board to lead it. But after the tough times we have all been through lately this news – as I think you will agree – comes as a real shot in the arm.

“And this comes on top of course of other major developments which have been attracted to Neath Port Talbot – which I’m sure are the envy of other Welsh authorities –  such as the multi-million pound GCRE and Wildfox projects.

“Lastly I would like to congratulate Anglesey which has also secured Freeport status for a site based around Holyhead which is also good news for Wales as a whole.”