£2bn biomass plant jobs 'will be local', Chinese boss promises

A biomass plant in Anglesey promised as part of a £2bn Chinese investment in Wales will be "100%" built by local workers, the firm's boss has promised.

£2bn biomass plant jobs 'will be local', Chinese boss promisesThe SinoFortone Group investment will see two 299MWe biomass power stations built on Anglesey and in Port Talbot. Chief executive Peter Zhang also told BBC Wales most of the workforce would be found locally, apart from some experts and technicians from China.

The plants are expected to open in three years.
Dr Zhang told the Good Morning Wales programme: "It's very hard for us to bring the Chinese ground labour to the UK but definitely we will bring the technicians and expertise to the UK. "I think the building work will be 100% built by the local (workforce)."

'Worldwide importance'

Dr Zhang said new technologies such as the biomass plant were very important "not only to us but also worldwide". "Considering what we have done in past years in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, I think now at least 13 countries show their interest to export the technology from the UK to worldwide, so I'd say that is a really important investment for us as well," he said.

He also gave a commitment to employ local people once the plants opened, excepting some technicians and experts from China. On the decision to choose Anglesey and Port Talbot, he said they had not realised the opportunities presented by Wales prior to a visit to the UK by the Chinese prime minister last year, but since then had been in discussions about a number of potential projects. "We think this one is the best so far," he added.

Anglesey councillor Jeff Evans gave an enthusiastic welcome to the project, saying: "My instant reaction is that this is great news. We've been waiting for two to three years for some development with this biomass plant but nothing seemed to be coming. "This has come out of the blue for me but it sounds very positive." However he added: "I just want to see it actually happening. I want to see the pound coins. "Anglesey has had some downs in the last few years so this is very much needed."

£2bn biomass plant jobs 'will be local', Chinese boss promises 2

Neath Port Talbot council said in a statement it welcomed the substantial investment in the area, calling it a "vote of confidence in the Swansea Bay City Region as a whole".

Conservative assembly shadow minister for the economy William Graham said: "This is hugely welcome investment in Anglesey, and highlights the UK Conservative government's commitment to delivering for Wales. "The investors' pledge to safeguard all of the building jobs for local workers will also be welcomed by island residents."

 

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