THE CABINET of Bridgend County Borough Council met on Tuesday 19 September 2023 to discuss whether the authority is going to be financially able to continue to support the Hybont green fuel project in future.
Having predicted a multi-million pound deficit for 2024-25 and faced with significant new budget pressures, members were asked to consider whether the council is going to be able to afford to commit financial revenue and capital costs of around £6.5m towards the Hybont project, or if these pressures will force the authority to withdraw its financial involvement.
With support from Welsh Government and Cardiff Capital Region, Japanese renewable energy specialists Marubeni Europower had previously selected Bridgend County Borough as its preferred UK location for a green hydrogen demonstrator project, which could generate clean fuel for fleet vehicles ranging from council gritters to recycling and refuse collection lorries.
A site for the potential new facility has been identified at Brynmenyn Industrial Estate, and Marubeni have submitted a planning application which is currently being determined.
If Cabinet members opt to withdraw the financial support, discussions between Welsh Government, Cardiff Capital Region and Marubeni would continue to take place to try and identify an alternative offtaker. The planning application would also continue to be processed in line with normal planning rules and regulations.