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Major companies sign up to massive energy, technology and housing project in Swansea

25 Nov 2022 3 minute read
Artist\’s impression of the renewable energy transport hub planned as a forerunner to the Blue Eden project in Swansea. Image Swansea Council

Richard Youle, local democracy reporter

International companies including Siemens have signed up to a huge energy, technology and housing project in Swansea.

The consortium of firms are working on the Blue Eden scheme at SA1, which aims in the long term to deliver an electric battery manufacturing plant and battery storage facility, hundreds of waterfront homes, a tidal lagoon and floating solar farm within it, a data storage centre, a green hydrogen production facility, and an oceanic and climate change research centre.

A renewable energy transport hub is proposed as a forerunner to the larger Blue Eden scheme, comprising electric and hydrogen charging facilities for cars and public transport vehicles, e-bikes and e-scooters, recreational areas, and an indoor restaurant quarter.

The project is being put together by Bridgend-based Batri Ltd and DST Innovations, with support from Swansea Council. The UK Government has provided a £200,000 grant via its community renewal fund, and further support has been sought from its levelling up fund.

Other names announced as being on board are engineering and construction firm HDR, infrastructure group Enable, hydropower specialists Anditz, and HSBC bank.

Blue Eden

Details of Blue Eden were first unveiled by DST in October last year. The project could take some 13 years to deliver in full, on land and water south of the Prince of Wales dock, and create 2,500-plus jobs.

In March this year Tony Miles, DST’s chief executive, said the project could cost £4.2 billion. He indicated that “massive” organisations were working on it.

The project would need planning and other consents but it is possible, according to the council, that work could start next year.

Council leader Rob Stewart said: “The announcement of partners of this reputation and quality is a statement of intent for this project, which will place Swansea at the global forefront of renewable energy technology and generation.

“As well as helping tackle climate change by further de-carbonising the city in line with our ‘net zero’ targets, this project will also create many thousands of jobs for local people while providing even more charging facilities for electric and hydrogen vehicles.”

Richard Morgan, director of HDR, said: “Imaginative urban regeneration that will bring Swansea Council’s vision to life is such a laudable ambition.

“Supporting this initiative will seek to bring prosperity into the area, create opportunities for local people and we will all witness the transformation of Swansea and the surrounding environs.”

Shane O’Halloran, Enable’s chief executive, said it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Batri and DST Innovations for the delivery of the renewable energy transport hub.

“We are thrilled to be part of this ground-breaking project and are excited for the opportunities this special relationship and collaboration will unlock in the future,” he said.

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