Albert Owen MP, Energy Island Champion
by Steve Jones
Local MP Albert Owen has led the way in the campaign to give Anglesey the status of the "Energy Island" in Britain.
Against a backdrop of a new nuclear build programme supported by the UK Government, Albert has worked effectively to bring a new nuclear power station, known as Wylfa B, to the island.
He has lobbied consistently in favour of a rich energy mix,comprising of new nuclear,wind power,and tidal and wave energy.
Indeed his concept of promoting Anglesey as Britain's Energy Island is gaining ground and culminated in the recent announcement on Wylfa B.
The Wylfa B project, driven by new joint venture Horizon Nuclear Power, is hugely important to the island and regional economy. With around 3GW of electricity generating capacity, the new power station can supply up to 3 million hones.
Albert Owen has welcomed the significant boost such a project will bring to local employment and training opportunities for the long term.
There will shortly be a new specialised training facility opening at Coleg Menai, where students will gain valuable nuclear engineering and fabricating skills.
This commitment will ensure the future workforce can be made up of qualified young people who already live on Anglesey.
With a potential £8 billion likely to be generated in the local island economy over the longer
term, this is clearly a significant project that will transform our local community in a profound way.
Andy Richards, Regional Secretary, UNITE Wales Region said he welcomed the announcement on Wylfa B and the opportunities that this will now bring to Anglesey and Wales.
He said: "I would like to pay particular tribute to local MP Albert Owen for his long and sustained campaign and hard work in securing WYLFA B for the region.
And former site Director at the current Wylfa plant, Greg Evans said of Albert: "He is respected in the industry."
Albert Owen's efforts have also been recognised recently when he won "Campaigner of the Year Award" in The Wales Yearbook Welsh Politician of the Year Award.
It said he won the award "...for campaigning vigorously on a number of local issues including the bid for a new nuclear power station at Wylfa."
Let's not forget there is also the possibility of tidal turbines being built off the Skerries as well as a wind turbine factory being set up in Holyhead on the site of the old Anglesey Aluminium smelter.
Albert Owen now looks forward to seeing his idea of Energy Island finally come to fruition.
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