Mabey Bridge today announced a £38M investment in a new facility which will see the engineering firm become the biggest UK manufacturer of wind turbine towers, both for onshore and offshore applications.
As a result of the investment, 240 new skilled jobs in South Wales will be created in addition to the 400 already employed by Mabey Bridge at its bases in nearby Chepstow and Lydney.
Mabey Bridge recently purchased South Wales’ largest speculative industrial unit along with 72 843m² of land, at Newhouse Farm Distribution Park in Chepstow, for £13M.
The firm has now lodged a planning application with Monmouthshire Council to double the size of the existing warehouse to allow the new fabrication facility for the towers to go ahead.
“The investment goes against the decline in the manufacturing sector in the UK and will put South Wales at the heart of the low carbon economy.”
Peter Lloyd, Mabey Bridge
Mabey Bridge managing director Peter Lloyd said: “This is a significant announcement which will provide a boost for both the national and local economy, creating hundreds of jobs in South Wales and supporting hundreds more in the renewable energy sector across the UK.
“The investment goes against the grain of the decline in the manufacturing sector in the UK and will put South Wales at the heart of the move towards a low carbon economy.
“We are forecasting that production at the facility will provide around half the UK’s requirement for wind turbine towers, greatly reducing the need for developers to import.”
When completed, the 32,140m² facility, which has been fully forward-funded by parent company Mabey Holdings, will be capable of fabricating turbine tower sections up to 5m in diameter and 40m in length.
Mabey Bridge already has a number of relationships in place with major wind turbine manufacturers meaning the factory will be running at full capacity in a relatively short period of time, in addition to Mabey Bridge’s other local facilities at Chepstow and Lydney in Gloucestershire.
Signs of growth
Secretary of State for Wales Peter Hain MP said: “Mabey Bridge’s expansion plans show that although some businesses are struggling there are signs of growth in the Welsh manufacturing industry. With the green, low carbon economy growing all the time it is vital that we attract and keep companies such as Mabey Bridge in Wales.”
The factory will use the latest manufacturing techniques including computer controlled cutting and rolling, robotic welding, steel blasting up to the highest quality and an automated painting facility.
The new site will be ideally located for easy transportation across the UK. The factory has direct access to the M48, M4 and is five miles from the M5 along with good access to nearby ports at Newport Dock, Avonmouth, Bristol Dock and Cardiff Dock.