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Major step forward for £60 million Pembroke Dock Marine project

A MULTI-MILLION pound project that will place Pembrokeshire at the heart of global marine energy innovation has taken a major step forward.

The Swansea Bay City Deal’s Joint Committee has signed-off a detailed business case for the £60 million Pembroke Dock Marine project, which will now be submitted to the UK Government and Welsh Government for final approval.

Led by the private sector and supported by Pembrokeshire County Council, Pembroke Dock Marine is expected to be worth over 1,800 jobs and £73.5 million a year to the Swansea Bay City Region’s economy.

The project is made up of four elements:

  • A Marine Energy Test Area (META) led by Marine Energy Wales within the Milford Haven Waterway, enabling technology developers to test their devices near their base of operation. META phase one was officially opened for business in September 2019.
  • The Pembrokeshire Demonstration Zone (PDZ) delivered by Wave Hub Limited for the testing of full-scale wave and floating wind energy technologies. Located 13 miles off the South Pembrokeshire coast, the 90 square kilometer facility would be the largest of its kind in the world.
  • A Marine Energy Engineering Centre of Excellence (MEECE) delivered by offshore wind, wave and tidal energy specialists ORE Catapult. Based at Pembroke Port, MEECE will be a collaboration between ORE Catapult and Welsh universities, providing expert knowledge for the marine energy industry. MEECE will also carry out life testing of marine energy components to boost their longevity.
  • Pembroke Dock Infrastructure, led by the Port of Milford Haven, will redevelop gate four at Pembroke Port to create large construction and laydown areas for marine energy devices, helping meet the needs of modern industry. A supersize slipway will be developed alongside extension of berthing space for use by marine energy work boats to meet the demands of the industry as it continues to mature.

The Pembroke Dock Marine project is seeking £28 million from the £1.3 billion Swansea Bay City Deal programme, which would help leverage a further immediate £32 million of public and private funding.

Andy Jones, Chief Executive of the Port of Milford Haven, said: “The Dockyard in Pembroke Dock has always evolved to meet the needs of the maritime sector it is there to serve, capitalising on our skilled workforce and naturally occurring assets to drive inward investment, global reach and economic prosperity.

“Offshore renewables are now in the mainstream energy mix and will play an even larger role as we work towards decarbonisation by 2050. For Pembrokeshire and the region to capitalise, we must have an offering in place that that can accommodate the needs of technology developers and their supply chain. Funded through the City Deal, Pembroke Dock Marine will drive that next evolution, supporting current businesses to grow through fit for purpose facilities on land and sea backed up with expert support to solve common problems for the good of all.

“Pembroke Dock Marine is the foundation that this offering will be built off, and we welcome the support at all levels to get this project to the final approval stage.”

Cllr David Simpson, Leader of Pembrokeshire County Council, said: “Joint Committee’s approval of Pembroke Dock Marine is a major step forward for the project, so we’d encourage final sign-off from both governments as soon as possible for the City Deal funding to be released.

“This project will create high-quality jobs for local people, while benefitting local supply chain businesses and boosting the economy of Pembrokeshire and the Swansea Bay City Region as a whole.

“It’s a statement of intent as we look to further build on the county’s fast-growing reputation for innovation by transforming Pembrokeshire into a global centre of excellence for the marine energy sector.

“This project will combine with others in the region due to be part-funded by the City Deal to act as a catalyst for even more investment, economic growth and well-paid employment opportunities.”

Funded by the UK Government, the Welsh Government, the public sector and the private sector, the Swansea Bay City Deal is being led by Carmarthenshire Council, Neath Port Talbot Council, Pembrokeshire Council and Swansea Council, in partnership with Swansea University, the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Swansea Bay University Health Board and Hywel Dda University Health Board.

The investment programme is worth £1.8 billion and over 9,000 jobs to the Swansea Bay City Region in coming years.