Posted on August 24, 2022
Construction work has started on the £60m Pembroke Dock Marine project at Pembroke Port.
One of the nine projects in the Swansea Bay City Deal, the first phase of the project will see the construction of a new supersize slipway and workboat pontoons at Britain’s biggest energy port, owned and operated by the Port of Milford Haven.
Civil engineering firm BAM Nuttall has been appointed to construct the new slipway and pontoons.
The modernisation of the port’s infrastructure follows the Port of Milford Haven’s vision for the Milford Haven Waterway to play a key role to support the country’s transition to net zero status through developments of wave, wind and tidal power.
This includes the development of the floating offshore wind farm planned for the Celtic Sea, with ports in Port Talbot and Milford Haven at the epicentre of the huge renewable energy project.
The new slipway will provide maximum flexibility for the launch and recovery of marine energy devices and vessels, while the pontoons will strengthen the port’s operations and maintenance proposition for the floating offshore wind (FLOW) industry.
Port of Milford Haven commercial director Steve Edwards said: “It’s fantastic to see this development underway at Pembroke Port. The new upgraded spaces and facilities will be perfect for the growing low carbon industry around the Celtic Sea as well as the supply chain companies that will benefit from the opportunities created here.”
Mr Edwards added: “We’re looking forward to seeing huge changes over the next 18 months, working with industry and academia to maximise local and regional benefits.”
Pembrokeshire County Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Place, the Region and Climate Change Cllr Paul Miller said: “The Haven Waterway is inextricably linked to the health of the Pembrokeshire economy. We need to invest in the waterway in order to sustain employment but also to ensure it remains the UKs leading energy port.”
He added: “Up to 30% of the UK’s gas today, but also Green/Blue Hydrogen and Floating Wind Generated electricity tomorrow. These investments are the foundation upon which we hope the next generation of energy industry is built and along with it, the next generation of energy jobs.”
The works will sit alongside the renovation of the Annexes attached to the Sunderland Hangars. The Port said these are now midway through construction and will create new office and workshop spaces for industry.
Later phases of the project will focus on creating large scale laydown spaces for device fabrication and development.
The Pembroke Dock Marine project is a £60m partnership between the Port of Milford Haven, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, Marine Energy Wales and Celtic Sea Power.
The project is funded by the UK Government and Welsh Government through the Swansea Bay City Deal, and through the public and private sectors. It is also part funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.
This collaborative platform has already attracted companies from across the globe spearheading new research, development, and manufacturing in marine energy power generation.
The Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, the UK’s leading technology, innovation and research centre for renewable offshore energy, has also demonstrated its confidence in the area’s potential with the development of a multi-million pound Marine Energy Engineering Centre of Excellence based at Pembroke Dock.
Cllr Rob Stewart, Chairman of the Swansea Bay City Deal’s Joint Committee said: “The City Deal is making significant progress in its ambition to grow the economy and create employment opportunities in Pembrokeshire and across the region, with a focus on the energy sector and renewable technologies.”
Mr Stewart added: “We welcome BAM Nuttall onboard to construct the workboat pontoons and slipway at Pembroke Port, which will help regenerate the port area and support the wider blue-green energy economy. This exciting development, coupled with the recent approval of the City Deal Skills & Talent pilot project which will deliver essential skills in the renewable energy sector demonstrates that we are focused on lowering carbon emissions, supporting floating offshore wind and growing our young talent to support this sector.”
BAM regional director for Wales and southern England Ian Hubbard said: “The Port of Milford Haven has a vision for the regeneration of Pembroke Dock and BAM is delighted to play a role in that.
“The Port is ideally suited for servicing wave, tidal and wind power and this latest investment will help to improve the facilities on offer to the growing offshore renewables industry. BAM will be employing a mixture of local and specialist labour to deliver its works, so this contract will create jobs in the Pembrokeshire area as well as helping to modernise the port facilities.”