Home » Big step forward in 10,000 job-plan to turn Port Talbot into hub for floating offshore wind projects
Neath Port Talbot Politics South Wales

Big step forward in 10,000 job-plan to turn Port Talbot into hub for floating offshore wind projects

How The Port Talbot Development Could Look (Pic: Associated British Ports)

PLANS for a “major” off-shore wind hub located in Neath Port Talbot have taken a step closer, as early stages of funding agreements move forward.

The ambitious development could see the port of Port Talbot transformed over the coming years into a location for the manufacturing and assembly of floating off-shore wind components for projects in the Celtic Sea, which could create as many as 10,000 jobs.

It is part of a project run by Associated British Ports, which the company has said has the opportunity to create a “world-class manufacturing and supply chain hub in Port Talbot”, along with opportunities for wider green energy and industrial activity that could act as a catalyst for economic regeneration in south Wales.

It was announced that the latest bid, for an undisclosed amount of funding from the Floating Offshore Wind Manufacturing Investment Scheme, known as FLOWMIS, was recently moved to the “primary list phase” in March of 2024.

If granted by the UK Government’s Department of Energy Security and Net Zero, it is hoped to go alongside £500 million worth of investment from Associated British Ports to push the major project forward.

The news comes just days after Tata Steel announced it will cease operations at its Port Talbot-based Morfa coke ovens, as a result of a “significantly deteriorating operational stability.”

It is understood that around 200 workers will be affected by the decision, while more than 2,000 more could be impacted if the company goes ahead with plans to transition the site to create green steel made in an electric arc furnace in the coming year. You can read more about that here.

When speaking of the new off-shore wind project in Port Talbot, Henrik L. Pedersen, chief executive officer of Associated British Ports, said he was happy to see there was support for the plans from both the local council, Welsh Government and UK Government.

He said “ABP is pleased that the UK Government is supporting the ambitious plan to transform the port of Port Talbot into a major hub for Floating Offshore Wind and green energy development.

“The FLOWMIS award, alongside significant ABP investment of more than £500 million, will begin to unlock a projected £1 billion of investment in Port Talbot and the surrounding area. This will develop a green economic hub supporting and creating nearly 10,000 jobs in South Wales and across the wider UK supply chain.

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“Today’s decision comes at a crucial time for Port Talbot and South Wales more broadly. The funding announced will help secure the region’s future as a hub of next-generation UK industry, providing thousands of jobs in the green economy right across the supply chain.

“ABP is grateful that its bid was also supported by local members of both UK and Welsh Parliaments, Neath Port Talbot Council, the Welsh Government and by local, national and international businesses in the floating offshore wind supply chain. We look forwarding to working closely with all stakeholders as we progress into the due diligence phase of the FLOWMIS process and work to deliver our plans at pace.”