Island Wind Tidal Turbine Hub Hopes

by D Williams

Plans are advancing for turning the former Anglesey Aluminium smelter site into a wind turbine manufacturing factory with potential for creating hundreds of local jobs, according to Welsh Secretary Peter Hain on a recent visit to North Wales.

As the main smelting operation ended at the Holyhead site in September 2009, leaving only a small remelt operation, the location is ideally placed to act as a major green manufacturing hub.

Among the possibilities are the use of the location for building, assembling and servicing both wind and tidal turbines.

A partnership between Anglesey Aluminium Metal, Welsh Assembly Government and the local authority has started negotiations with a turbine company.

Following recent job losses on the island, the prospect of a significant manufacturing hub being located near Holyhead is very welcome.

Anglesey, which has been given the title "Energy Island", is well placed as a location given its proximity to sites identified in the Irish Sea as suitable for both tidal and wind turbine installation.

There are excellent deep water harbour facilities at nearby Holyhead Port, which would be a key factor in determining the optimum location for turbine manufacture.

Sasha Wyn Davies, Head of Economic Development on Anglesey, believes renewables and nuclear energy would be a good mixture. They are two sources of low carbon electricity and offer the potential for a significant number of quality jobs.

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