Welsh Port Steps Closer to Becoming Floating Wind Hub

March 29, 2024

Rendering - Port of Talbot as offshore wind hub (Credit: ABP)
Rendering - Port of Talbot as offshore wind hub (Credit: ABP)

A project to transform the Port Talbot into a major hub for floating offshore wind (FLOW) and green energy development has come one step closer to securing a share of up to $200 million (£160 million) of UK Government funding.

The UK Government has agreed to take forward the Future Port Talbot project and the Port of Cromarty Firth to undergo due diligence as part of the next stage of its Floating Offshore Wind Manufacturing Investment Scheme (FLOWMIS).

The due diligence process will include a subsidy control assessment by the Competition and Markets Authority – this assesses whether proposals for grant funding are compliant with the subsidy control rules, laid out in the Subsidy Control Act 2022.

Offers of funding for the successful projects are expected to be made later in the year, according to project developers.

FLOWMIS – launched as part of the Government’s ‘Powering Up Britain’ plans in March 2023 – hopes to secure the UK’s leadership in FLOW technology, by providing funding to support private investment into port infrastructure projects with the potential to support the scale of the pipeline.

The scheme will fund the basic infrastructure necessary to support the integration and assembly of wind turbines – for example, ensuring port infrastructure is constructed, replaced or upgraded (such as the building of quays) to accommodate large components such as towers and blades, as well as steel and concrete foundations and mooring cables required for floating offshore wind.

The funding could also go towards the dredging of the seabed to make it deeper.

Associated British Ports (ABP), the UK’s leading port operator, welcomed the decision to advance the Port Talbot project.

The port of Port Talbot is part of the Celtic Freeport, alongside the Port of Milford Haven. The Celtic Freeport described the announcement as a ‘deeply disappointing blow for Pembroke Dock and the whole of the Milford Haven Waterway.’

“Today’s news is mixed across the Celtic Freeport members. It is fantastic news for Port Talbot and a deeply disappointing blow for Pembroke Dock and the whole of the Milord Haven Waterway.

“We will continue to support both ports and look for synergies as plans progress to maximise investment, jobs and prosperity across the Celtic Freeport area from this nascent industry,” said the spokesperson for Celtic Freeport.

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