Could free ports help stem climate crisis?

The port authority at Milford Haven believes creating a free port would help new energy developments prosper Photo: MHPA The port authority at Milford Haven believes creating a free port would help new energy developments prosper Photo: MHPA
Industry Database

A UK port authority believes that the creation of free ports could help new energy developments to prosper.

The Milford Haven Waterway currently constitutes the UK’s single largest cluster of energy-related businesses, handling approximately 20% of the UK’s energy requirements.

The port authority at Milford Haven believes that a free port in the area, aligned with the Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone together with accelerated planning processes and simplification of legal and regulatory requirements, would help promote the development of greener energy solutions.

Opportunities

The port authority believes a free port could eradicate duty on goods and services that are assembled and deployed within pre-approved areas. If offshore floating wind turbine blades and other renewable technologies’ components were exempt, this would help reduce the cost of offshore renewable generation, one of the main barriers to investment in this sector.

Moreover, access to oil and gas terminals and fuel pipelines together with favourable conditions such as deep water and strong tides makes the area an ideal base for a renewable energy cluster. The port has already proposed the Pembroke Dock Marine investment to create a centre of excellence for the development of marine renewable energy devices.

Pembroke Dock Marine project

The project focuses on four key elements – redevelopment of operational space to increase efficiencies, a research and innovation facility offering onsite testing and training, the creation of areas for component and device testing on the Milford Haven Waterway and a 90km2 site for deployment of a 100MW capacity of full-scale wave and floating wind arrays.

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