Chinese investment will create two innovative projects
Work is due to begin on an innovative project in Anglesey, north Wales, following confirmation of investment from SinoFortone group.
The £2Bn investment will finance two projects, an innovative biomass plant and associated food production stations in Holyhead and Port Talbot, being developed by Orthios Eco Parks.
Heat from the biomass power stations will be used by the food production plants to grow food, starting with king prawns and vegetables.
Plans for a multi-million pound biomass plant and eco park were announced last March and this investment will see works commence apace on the site of the former Anglesey Aluminium Plant in Holyhead.
The Holyhead facility could be operational in 2017, while the Port Talbot facility is expected to become operational in three years time.
Some 1,000 jobs will be created at the plants, plus many more through the construction process.
Chief Executive of Orthios Sean McCormick said: “We have spent five years researching and developing this model and the investment from China will help us roll it out across the planet,”
“China’s focus on green energy and its ability to take a long-term view [was instrumental in securing the deal].”
SinoFortone is a privately owned investment company but its investment in Wales has been backed financially by the Chinese state.
SinoFortone Group Chief Executive Dr Peter Zhang said: “We see this as a ground changing model that many countries will benefit from and are delighted to be teamed with the Orthios team.”
He added: “We were impressed with the Orthios professional team and how much research and development they have invested in their unique combined food and power solution.
“With us and the Chinese state as their backers, we are confident we can maximize efficiencies and provide a production facility to deliver this solution around the world.”
With Chinese funding commitment the long-term plan would be to roll out the energy and food production technology globally.
As part of an overall £5Bn investment in the UK, SinoFortone has also agreed to invest £3.2Bn in a major amusement park in Ebbsfleet.
A spokesman for the Welsh Government said: “We welcome any further progress on these two projects, which have the potential to create hundreds of jobs and provide a major boost for the local economy.”