Green jobs boost for Wales with clean energy hub
Plans to build a Centre of Renewable Energy Excellence in Pembrokeshire have been unveiled in Wales, in a bid to make the area an international standard-bearing for green energy.
Cypriot-owned renewable energy company Egnedol has purchased the former Gulf refinery at Milford Haven in Pembrokeshire. The company proposes to build a £685m facility capable of creating clean biogas from biomass which will be used to produce electricity of liquid fuel, creating up to 560 jobs in the process.
Egnedol representative Phil Johns said: “We believe our proposal for a clean energy facility at Blackbridge and Waterston has the potential to place Milford Haven at the heart of one of the most exciting growth industries in the world – renewables – bringing much needed jobs and inward investment to Pembrokeshire. We want to inform local residents about our plans, get feedback and gather opinion to help ensure that any issues or concerns are taken in to consideration.
“Alongside the creation of direct and indirect jobs, the facility will place our region at the forefront of clean, renewable energy. The research and development unit will also become a key resource for furthering our knowledge and skills-bank of future energy solutions, advancing new technologies and developing specialist professionals to work in a rapidly growing industry.”
If given consent to start building the facility, Egnedol wants to increase investment at the site to potentially £1.6bn over the next five years, providing there are suitable market conditions.
The facility will see heat processed from organic materials such as wood and used as a catalyst for on-site food production businesses which includes a fish farm, cheese factory and greenhouses. Biomass will then be transferred via ships. It is believed the food production and distribution will create the bulk of new jobs.
Egnedol plans to partner with Universities across Wales as well as the European Union; to build a research and development facility on-site that can be used to advance new and existing renewable initiatives.
The Leader of Pembrokeshire County Council, Jamie Adams, welcomed the plans. “I’m very pleased that a new, exciting use has been found for the former RNAD Blackbridge site," said Adams. "Subject to planning, this will create many much-needed jobs in the area.”
Wind and waves
The plans, if accepted, would provide a much-needed renewables boost to the Wales after the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) recently rejected four onshore wind farms with a potential capacity of more than 350 MW, citing local wildlife damage and a negative impact on tourism as the reasons for the refusal.
But despite the latest rejection, Wales is already home to the world's first ever tidal lagoon energy project in the form of the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon. When fully operational by the year 2023, the tidal lagoon will generate renewable electricity to power 155,000 homes.
Egnedol will be presenting its plans for the development of the Centre of Renewable Energy Excellence in the next week.