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The Celtic Freeport private-public sector partnership is led by Associated British Ports (ABP), Neath Port Talbot Council, Pembrokeshire County Council and the Port of Milford Haven.


The Freeport also includes renewables developers, energy companies, industrial complexes, innovation assets, academic institutions and education providers.

13 May 2024

The Celtic Freeport: A Beacon of Growth and Renewal for Pembrokeshire


will bramble cbe

GUEST COLUMN:

Will Bramble CBE

CEO

Pembrokeshire County Council

pembs council

I view the Celtic Freeport as more than just a development project, it is both a catalyst and an accelerant.

Its core mission is to drive growth, particularly in economically disadvantaged areas, by leveraging innovations in renewable energy.

The Port of Milford Haven, the UK's largest energy port, and ABP at Port Talbot encapsulate a unique synergy.

Both regions share challenges, notably economic deprivation, and the looming threats to traditional industries. Our shared vision with Celtic Freeport is to transform these challenges into opportunities by creating a vibrant corridor of innovation and growth in the renewable energy sector. This corridor is not just a path towards economic regeneration but also a pathway for upskilling and job creation.

The emphasis on floating offshore wind in the Celtic Sea highlights the immense opportunities available through 2035 and beyond. To maximise these opportunities, the strategic collaboration between the two deepwater ports of Milford Haven and Port Talbot is essential.

Moreover, the region is positioned uniquely with significant green industrial opportunities due to the presence of two of the UK's largest CO2 emitters: Tata Steel and the RWE power station at Milford Haven. RWE is seeking to leverage the Freeport's potential to accelerate their decarbonisation efforts. This is pivotal, not only in reducing environmental impact but also in setting a precedent for how traditional industries can evolve to meet modern demands.

Our ambitions also extend to the industrial-scale production of hydrogen, a critical element in the UK's strategy to achieve net-zero emissions. The potential here is not just about energy production but encompasses building one of the UK's largest industrial clusters focused on renewable energy.

The long-term opportunities presented by the Celtic Freeport are transformative. By pivoting towards green technologies, we aim to bolster the UK's energy portfolio, drive innovation, enhance skill sets, and create a multitude of job opportunities.

This strategic focus on renewable energy is not merely a response to current trends but a forward-looking commitment to sustainable economic and environmental stewardship.


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