The Welsh and UK Governments will name the successful bidder in the race to host Wales’s first freeport in early 2023.
The Celtic Freeport bid aims to create a green innovation and investment corridor with sites at the ports of Port Talbot and Milford Haven in which clean energy developments, fuel terminals, a power station and hydrogen fuel innovation will thrive.
So here are ten big benefits of the Celtic Freeport
The creation of 16,000 new high quality, green jobs
Green Skills opportunities for future generations. From welders to data scientists, these will be well paid, long-term roles underpinned by fair working practices and inclusive workplaces.
The building of two expanded green energy ports to unlock the £54 billion floating offshore wind (FLOW) industry, from manufacturing, installation and maintenance.
Giving Wales ‘global first mover’ advantage in this new form of clean, reliable energy with strengthened export and supply chain opportunities.
Helping re-position the Welsh steel industry by driving forward the development of the vast FLOW opportunity using steel made at Port Talbot.
Vastly improving the attractiveness of south west Wales and attract £5.5 billion of inward investment in modern, green technologies.
Decarbonising Wales’ primary industrial cluster and make a major contribution to national net zero carbon emissions targets.
Boosting innovation in other clean energy technologies such as wave and tidal, hydrogen and other sustainable fuels.
Enhancing domestic energy supply and security.
And, importantly, creating a local legacy channel to invest in future skills, innovation and local projects through a dedicated £500 million fund.
The Celtic Freeport is backed by a public-private consortium, whose partners include Associated British Ports, Neath Port Talbot Council, Pembrokeshire County Council and the Port of Milford Haven, alongside many other public, private, academic and social partners.
Roger Maggs MBE, Chair of the consortium, said: “Together, these key players combine to create a compelling proposition for an integrated, multi-purpose freeport for Wales.
“The Celtic Freeport consortium also provides access to a huge development footprint, a skilled workforce and a network of local, regional and global partners capable of enabling the rapid growth of the floating offshore wind sector and a flourishing hydrogen economy in Wales.
“This could completely regenerate the economies of south and west Wales and beyond and the prospect of exporting floating wind and other green technologies developed here could add to this transformational effect.”