German energy firm RWE has partnered up with the UK’s largest port operator, Associated British Ports (ABP) and the UK’s largest energy port, the Port of Milford Haven, to investigate the scaling-up of port facilities in support of a pipeline of gigawatt-scale floating wind projects in the Celtic Sea.
Working together under a memorandum of understanding, the partners will look into the potential for transforming infrastructure at ABP Port Talbot and Pembroke Dock into hubs for the manufacture, assembly and loadout of floating wind turbines and foundations bound for the Celtic Sea, as well as floating operation and maintenance capability.
Tom Glover, UK country chair, RWE, said: “RWE is committed to working in partnership with the Welsh Government and industry as the country looks to meet all of its electricity needs from renewables by 2035. For ABP, Milford Haven and RWE, it is clear that there is vast economic potential from offshore wind in Wales, not just in providing a renewable and sustainable energy source, but also in protecting and creating skilled jobs and careers and driving fresh investment in the region.”
RWE is Wales’ leading developer and operator of renewable energy and is proposing to build commercial-scale floating wind projects off the Welsh coast as part of the Crown Estate’s forthcoming Celtic Sea leasing round. If successful in the leasing round, RWE said the projects will play a key role in realising the company’s Pembroke Net Zero Centre, as well as decarbonising net zero progress in wider industrial processes and transportation across South Wales.
The companies said they will investigate current and future port capabilities and propose solutions to deliver RWE’s preferred floating wind technologies out of South Wales ports, as well as a much broader pipeline of renewable energy technologies and projects across England and Wales, including hydrogen. This will include undertaking technical assessments, feasibility studies and economic impact studies of port capabilities and readiness to support the development of floating offshore wind projects.