A North Wales port has unveiled multi-million pound plans to construct a new generation of floating windfarms.
The Port of Mostyn is embarking on a consultation programme before submitting a planning application to Flintshire County Council for a change of use to set up a manufacturing plant on site.
The port’s managing director, Jim O’Toole, said the scheme to make concrete gravity bases and steel structures for offshore wind turbines will create a “significant number of jobs”.
The development would also involve building new modular offices and workshops.
In the meantime, the port has also applied to Natural Resources Wales (NRW) for a marine licence to build a new 350 metre long quay wall and reclaim 5.2 hectares of land behind it.
Dredging work would also be needed to create new quay for ships whilst deepening existing berths, with the approach channel being re-dredged.
If the scheme gets the go-ahead, construction is expected to take around 21 months, depending on the weather, and would create around 130 new jobs.
The port was the birthplace of offshore wind energy in the UK two decades ago.
The first two windfarms, North Hoyle off the coast of North Wales and Robin Rigg in the Solway Firth, were built there.
Since then the port has been involved in the construction of a further seven offshore windfarm projects.
Mr O’Toole said: “Potentially, having a manufacturing facility here would be a very significant development for the Port of Mostyn as well as being great news for the wider regional economy.
“If it gets the go-ahead, there will be a very significant number of jobs but we won’t know the exact number until we have completed the competitive tender process to appoint a contractor for the scheme.
“As part of the planning process, we are conducting a 28 day consultation prior to applying for permission to Flintshire County Council
“In the meantime, we have applied to Natural Resources Wales to create new deep water berths to facilitate the development.
“The work will include creating an additional 5.2 hectares of land adjacent to the berths for the storage and assembly of turbine components prior to being shipped to the windfarm’s offshore location.
“The construction of the new berths and the associated works would create more than 130 new jobs.
“The purpose of the new, larger quays is to facilitate the larger, heavier turbines for the new generation of turbines.
“The new infrastructure will be multi-purpose to enable fabrication and assembly of both fixed foundation and floating turbines.
“Primarily, it’s for floating offshore wind turbines which is a new concept to meet the growing demand for renewable energy.
“The concrete gravity bases will be manufactured at the port using materials supplied by local companies with local workforces.
“The turbine components will also be imported for final assembly at Mostyn and then taken offshore to be integrated with the foundations.
“The current energy crisis is concentrating minds and has underlined the urgent need to increase our capacity.
“We are proud of the part we have played in the history of developing offshore renewable energy and we are keen to have a key role in the securing the future of this important industry.”