There were some spectacular views of Aberavon from the sea when I went out on a cutter with Associated British Ports (ABP), to hear more about their plans to turn Port Talbot into a Welsh superpower in the generation of renewable energy.
At the heart of this exciting vision for the future of our town is a cutting-edge technology called Floating Off-shore Wind (FLOW). Traditional off-shore wind turbines are fixed to the sea bed, whereas FLOW turbines are built on floating sub-structures that are far more cost effective to build and flexible to deploy.
Port Talbot’s steel works, deep sea harbour, excellent transport connections, existing manufacturing supply chains and skilled workforce mean we’re uniquely placed to be at the forefront of the FLOW project, which will create thousands of skilled local jobs and will place Port Talbot at the forefront of the green industrial revolution.
These plans could be transformative for Port Talbot, but support from the UK government is going to be a crucial pre-condition for drawing in private sector investment, so that the FLOW project can get off the ground. And there’s no time to waste – other European countries are also considering investing in FLOW so we must act now if we are to secure first mover advantage.
Over the coming weeks and months I will therefore be making the case in Parliament and to ministers for investing in Port Talbot as the hub for this game-changing form of renewable energy.