Worth £73.5 million a year and over 1,800 high-value jobs to Pembrokeshire’s economy, the project will place the county and the Swansea Bay City Region at the heart of global marine energy innovation.
Supported by Pembrokeshire Council, Pembroke Dock Marine is made up of four elements:
- Modernised port facilities to support industrial growth, delivered by the Port of Milford Haven
- A Marine Energy and Engineering Centre of Excellence (MEECE) to drive research and innovation, delivered by Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult
- Marine Energy Wales will create pre-consented Marine Energy Test Areas (METAs) within the waterway for testing component and scale devices
- Wave Hub Ltd will deliver the Pembrokeshire Demonstration Zone (PDZ) - a consented and grid connected offshore test site
The project’s immediate focus will be to support the growth of floating wind, wave and tidal technologies by exploring opportunities off the Welsh coastline. This will help contribute to net zero energy targets, with the potential to drive a new export industry.
Pembroke Dock Marine is among a programme of projects being part-funded by the £1.3 billion Swansea Bay City Deal.
The City Deal will provide £28 million to the project in coming years, with the remaining funding coming from private sector investment and the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.
Jess Hooper, Marine Energy Programme Manager for Marine Energy Wales, said: "META is well on its way to becoming Wales’ national test centre and will ultimately consist of a series of eight pre-consented, non-grid connected test areas in the Milford Haven Waterway. With phase one test areas already providing a haven for marine energy, META enables marine renewable energy device developers to deploy, de-risk and develop from their components to their devices in a relatively sheltered yet still representative ocean environment.
“As part of the broader Pembroke Dock Marine project, META looks forward to contributing to the blue economy opportunities this exciting project brings to Pembrokeshire and the continued development of Pembrokeshire as a world class centre for marine energy."
Dr Stephen Wyatt, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult’s Research & Innovation Director, said: "This approval is extremely welcome, enabling us to go full steam ahead with the work of our Marine Energy Engineering Centre of Excellence and establish our longer term presence in the region. We are now formally engaging with our academic partners – the universities of Swansea, Cardiff, Bangor and Cardiff Metropolitan. The breadth and depth of their research activity perfectly complements the industrial sector expertise and market knowledge of ORE Catapult. Working with Welsh innovators and supply chain companies, MEECE will demonstrate and validate new products, technologies and processes in marine energy, providing ongoing innovation support to reduce costs and risks as these products mature towards commercialisation. This is something which MEECE is well-placed to provide by drawing on the Catapult’s existing expertise and those of our partners."
Steve Jermy, Executive Chair of Wave Hub Ltd, said: "This is a significant milestone in the Pembrokeshire Demonstration Zone project, which will catalyse the establishment of a Welsh centre for low carbon, offshore, energy production. We are excited to be working with our partners to develop strategically enabling infrastructure to accelerate the development of Welsh offshore renewable energy, to support future energy generating technologies and generate green electricity from the sea. Moving forward, we are very much looking forward to welcoming new staff, based in Pembroke Dock, into the Wave Hub project development team.”
Andy Jones, Chief Executive at the Port of Milford Haven, said: "This is a landmark decision for Pembrokeshire, made possible by the Swansea Bay City Region and the European Regional Development Fund. Alongside a significant investment by the Port, the Swansea Bay City Deal will support the modernisation of our port infrastructure to ensure developers can operate with maximum efficiency, allowing them to drive down the cost of energy and help reach net zero targets. We also recognise the value to other industries and the role this project will play in encouraging further collaborations and innovations within the region. We see this as a significant step forward and we look forward to working with developers as they explore the benefits of this new base. And, in turn, we welcome the positive impact this new and exciting industry will have on Pembrokeshire’s economy and employment opportunities."
The Swansea Bay City Deal is being funded by the UK Government, the Welsh Government, the public sector and the private sector.
The investment programme is being led by Carmarthenshire Council, Neath Port Talbot Council, Pembrokeshire Council and Swansea Council, in partnership with Swansea University, the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Swansea Bay University Health Board and Hywel Dda University Heath Board.