Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething was in Port Talbot today to congratulate the Celtic Freeport consortium on their successful bid to be Wales’ first freeport, which is set to deliver tens of thousands of new, high-quality jobs in south west Wales.
Last week, the Welsh and UK governments jointly announced the Celtic Freeport in Milford Haven and Port Talbot, and Anglesey Freeport on Ynys Mon, have been chosen as Wales’ first freeports.
The two freeports aim to collectively create around 20,000 jobs in the green industries of the future by 2030 and attract up to £4.9 billion in public and private investments.
The Celtic Freeport will be based around the port of Port Talbot in Neath Port Talbot, and the port of Milford Haven in Pembrokeshire.
The freeport plans focus on low carbon technologies, such as floating offshore wind (FLOW), hydrogen, carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS) and biofuels to support the accelerated reduction of carbon emissions.
The freeport aims to attract significant inward investment, including £3.5 billion in the hydrogen industry as well as the creation of 16,000 jobs, generating £900 million in Gross Value Added (GVA) by 2030, and £13 billion by 2050.
The Minister visited the port of Port Talbot earlier today, which will become one of the focal points of the new Freeport – which is expected to be operational later this year.
Speaking during a visit to Port Talbot, Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething said:
“It was great to be in Port Talbot today to congratulate the Celtic Freeport team on their successful bid.
“From off-shore energy to advanced manufacturing, the Celtic Freeport will help create tens of thousands of new, high quality jobs in the green industries of the future. it will support our highly ambitious plans to reach net zero by 2050, while also supporting our young people to plan their futures here in Wales.
“All this will help us transform the economy of south west Wales, helping us create a stronger, fairer and greener future for local people and communities.”
Roger Maggs MBE, Chair of the Celtic Freeport consortium said:
“Wales is on the cusp on an exciting green journey.
“The freeport decision will cause a chain reaction.
“Upgrading our major energy ports in Milford Haven and Port Talbot will enable floating offshore wind, create the cradle to nurture new green tech companies and take a step on the path to greening Wales’ steel industry.
“Now is the time for action so that Wales captures the renewable energy supply chain.”
Andrew Harston, Director, Wales and Short Sea Ports, Associated British Ports (ABP) said:
“The roll-out of floating offshore wind, or FLOW, in the Celtic Sea provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Wales. Port Talbot is the ideal location for the deployment of FLOW, and ABP is ready to invest over £500m in new and upgraded infrastructure to enable this and to ensure first-mover advantage to capture this global market. The Celtic Freeport provides a huge opportunity, and not just for FLOW, but for sustainable fuels and hydrogen too.”
Chief Press Officer
Notes to editors
The freeports will form special zones with the benefits of simplified customs procedures, relief on customs duties, tax benefits, and development flexibility. Welsh freeports will promote fair work opportunities and prioritise environmental sustainability and the climate emergency.
They are designed to promote regeneration and high-quality job creation, become a national hub for global trade and investment across the economy, and foster an innovative environment. The successful bids are focused on boosting the distinct strengths the sites boast, exploiting opportunities from offshore wind and marine energy to advanced manufacturing and innovation.
The Welsh freeport programme has been designed to help deliver the Welsh Government’s policies on fair work. This includes workers being fairly rewarded, heard and represented, and can progress in a secure, healthy, and inclusive working environment, where their rights are respected.
The programme also includes a number of other made-in-Wales policies such as:
the Welsh Government’s economic contract
trade union involvement in freeport governance structures
an emphasis on the real living wage and lifting the wage floor
setting expectations about employers’ treatment of employer national insurance contribution.
The UK Government will provide up to £26 million of non-repayable starter funding for each of the freeports being established in Wales – this represents parity with the deals offered to each of the English and Scottish freeports.
The successful bids will be taken forward to the next stage of the process, the development of an outline business case.