BW Ideol teams up with ABP in Port Talbot on floating foundation industrialisation for the Celtic Sea

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BW Ideol AS, a global leader in offshore floating wind, and Associated British Ports (ABP), the largest port operator in the UK, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to investigate the feasibility of serialised production of concrete substructures for floating offshore wind turbine foundations based on the BW Ideol design at ABP’s port of Port Talbot.

This agreement has been signed in preparation for the forthcoming Celtic Sea leasing round announced by The Crown Estate offering a market of significant multi-GW development potential. Port Talbot at ca. 120-140 km from the Project Development Areas currently outlined by The Crown Estate is ideally located as a manufacturing base for BW Ideol’s leading technology.

Port Talbot is the only port in the Celtic Sea with the scale – both in terms of marine and brownfield land space availability – and technical capabilities to fully maximise the Celtic Sea supply chain opportunity and the jobs and prosperity benefits that it should produce.

ABP is the owner and operator of the port at Port Talbot and 20 other ports around the United Kingdom. ABP has the ambition to invest over £500 million to transform Port Talbot into a major Floating Offshore Wind (FLOW) hub.  It would act as a ‘hub’ for a wider network of ports. The investment is part of its sustainability strategy, ‘Ready for Tomorrow’   launched earlier in 2023, which sets out plans for ABP and partners to invest £2 billion into decarbonising its own operations by 2040 and supporting large-scale green energy infrastructure and industrial decarbonisation projects.

“We can’t wait to start working with ABP at Port Talbot and we have no doubt that it will confirm that our patented concrete floating solution, which is the most compact and scalable solution on the market, is manufacturable at a large scale and will be able to equip future installation sites in the Celtic Sea while providing the highest level of local content.

“We have already demonstrated it in Scotland where we have developed fabrication methods able to provide floaters for the equivalent of 1GW per year” said Paul de la Guérivière, CEO of BW Ideol.

Andy Reay, ABP Head of Offshore Wind, said: “We are delighted to be working with BW Ideol to understand the technology needed to turn Port Talbot into a thriving FLOW energy hub.

“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.

“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.”