BW Ideol, ABP to Explore Serial Production of Floating Wind Foundations at Port Talbot

BW Ideol and Associated British Ports (ABP) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will see the manufacturer of concrete floating wind foundations and ABP investigating the feasibility of serial production at Port Talbot. The MOU has been signed in preparation for the Celtic Sea leasing round, BW Ideol said on Monday (11 December).

According to the company, Port Talbot is the only Celtic Sea port with the scale and technical capabilities to fully maximise the Celtic Sea supply chain opportunity and is ideally located as a manufacturing base since it lies 120-140 kilometres from the floating offshore wind areas outlined by The Crown Estate for the upcoming leasing round.

The news on the MOU between ABP and BW Ideol comes shortly after ABP announced plans to invest around GBP 500 million (approximately EUR 573 million) to upgrade a site in Port Talbot and turn it into a major floating offshore wind hub.

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“ABP is looking to invest in new and repurposed infrastructure in Port Talbot to enable the port to host manufacturing, installation and supply chain activity for the FLOW sector, and are currently exploring the option of constructing heavy lift quays to link onshore storage land to the marine environment and create a GW-scale opportunity,” ABP Head of Offshore Wind, Andy Reay, said.

“This has the potential to create 16,000 new, high-quality jobs and attract £5.5 billion inward investment in the wider regional economy. This agreement is an important step towards realising this ambition.”

In the Celtic Sea, The Crown Estate plans to auction off three sites that can accommodate a total of 4.5 GW of installed floating wind capacity.

At the beginning of this month, The Crown Estate revealed further details of the upcoming offshore wind leasing round (Round 5), including a requirement for bidders “to nominate their preferred integration ports and make early commitments to those ports to support their timely development”. The Information Memorandum issued on 7 December also notes that, as future Celtic Sea leasing brings additional floating wind projects, the integration ports present an opportunity to “assemble and manufacture floating foundations and other high-value activities”.

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The 4.5 GW that will be awarded for floating wind farms in the Celtic Sea marks the first phase of commercial development in the region. In November, the UK Government confirmed its intention to unlock space for up to a further 12 GW of capacity in the Celtic Sea.


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