A NEW multi-million pound industrial research facility that has been commissioned for Neath Port Talbot Harbourside could now be built within the next 18 months, as part of the Swansea Bay City deal.
The £20 million facility named the South Wales Industrial Transition from Carbon Hub, or SWITCH, will be designed and built by Morgan Sindall Construction in the coming months, with the aim of creating a purpose built research centre for de-carbonising the metal and steel industry.
Located at Neath Port Talbot’s Harbourside it will be based close to Tata Steel’s Port Talbot plant to carry out its goal of helping industry de-carbonise, and establishing the borough as a leader in low carbon growth and the green economy.
Led by Neath Port Talbot Council in partnership with Swansea University, the proposed facility is described as being an “open access centre establishing a collaborative network of expertise across academia, industry and government, aiming to accelerate the region’s transition to net zero.”
It comes just weeks after proposals for the creation of a £25 million commercial-scale sustainable aviation fuel plant in the area, which if approved would convert gasses produced as a by -product of making steel in to fuel.
Neath Port Talbot Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Economic Growth, Cllr Jeremy Hurley, said: “The exciting SWITCH Harbourside project will support the transformation and de-carbonisation of our important steel and metals industry and associated supply chain.
“This project complements Neath Port Talbot Council’s ongoing DARE strategy and vision to be seen as an attractive place to live, work and do business in.”
Deputy Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council Alun Llewelyn added: “This is another significant announcement for the area, and is a big step forward for the green economy of Neath Port Talbot and the City Region.
“It is important that we are able to make sure our manufacturing industries are sustainable for the future of our economy, employment and our environment, and we look forward to seeing it progress.”
Robert Williams, is the area director at Morgan Sindall Construction, and said: “It’s a privilege to play a key role in the SWITCH Harbourside development which will help the region move towards a Net Zero future.
“We are working closely with Neath Port Talbot Council and partners Swansea University to ensure we bring together our experience and knowledge to deliver the best possible outcome for the project.”