Funding to get a major project under way that is set to make Pembroke Dock a centre for marine renewable energy research and development has been given the go ahead by the Port of Milford Haven’s Board of Directors in December 2017.

The Port has allocated £650,000 to start dockyard improvements which will form part of Pembroke Dock Marine, the £76 million Swansea Bay City Deal project which will see the Port of Milford Haven partner with Marine Energy Wales, ORE Catapult and Wave Hub to develop a world class centre for marine energy research and development, fabrication, testing and deployment, in Pembrokeshire. The funding will maintain momentum on the crucial planning and consenting work and will help ensure building work can commence quickly once the City Deal business plan has been signed off.

Chief Executive Alec Don made the announcement. “By releasing this funding, the Port is demonstrating its confidence in the project,” said Alec. “The funding creates vital impetus for Pembroke Port and Pembroke Dock Marine, allowing us to tackle extensive planning legwork now, so that we can hit the road running when the full City Deal funding comes through.

“Pembrokeshire’s capacity to capitalise on its unique location and supply chain, next to one of the Country’s richest areas for marine renewable energy, is limited only by its intent to put in place the infrastructure, partnerships and funding necessary.  The Port is only one of the partners involved in the project, of course, accounting for 37% of the total package, but we are stating, in the clearest terms possible, that we are committed to making Pembroke Dock Marine a world-leading centre in this fast-growing sector,” continued Alec. “We look forward to working with our partners to make this project a success.”

Pembroke Dock Marine creates an opportunity for Pembrokeshire to be at the heart of an emerging industry with a potential market predicted to be worth around €53bn each year. Existing businesses serving the energy industry would build on current world-class capabilities to enter these new markets. The link with academic partners would help develop valuable skills among school leavers, improving their prospects of moving into high value employment without leaving the region.

The Port of Milford Haven’s Engineering Director Tim Bownes, who is heading up the Pembroke Port element of the project, said there will be a comprehensive period of consultation, during which the views of stakeholders, including the general public, will be sought.