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Port of Milford Haven invests in new world class pilot transfer vessel

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FOLLOWING a rigorous international selection process, the Port of Milford Haven has commissioned Next Generation Shipyards from The Netherlands to build a new 22m pilot boat to supplement its existing fleet. The contract marks the first stage of a long-term, multi-million pound investment programme that aims to enhance the Port’s pilotage capability and deliver world class pilotage operations at the UK’s leading energy port.

Next Generation Shipyards (NG Shipyards) has extensive experience in building highly sophisticated pilot vessels and crew transfer vessels vessels, both from its own designs and from the designs of others. The vessel selected by the Port of Milford Haven will be designed by Camarc Design Ltd which specialises in the design of innovative, all-weather, high-speed working craft.

Safety is the Port’s highest priority, so a rigorous assessment of the international market was undertaken as part of the procurement process, as well as collaboration with other ports and harbours that undertake similar operations. Key features of the new pilot vessel include: a double chine hull, self-righting design which comes with a proven track record of operating safely and efficiently in heavy weather conditions; and an ergonomically designed wheelhouse and crew facilities, which will provide the highest safety and operational standards in the industry.

With sustainability also high on the Port’s agenda, whilst it will have the ability to operate at speeds of more than 25 knots fully loaded, the vessel will incorporate waterjet propulsion and an IMO tier 3 rated engine and exhaust package to help reduce and control emissions. And, as part of its decarbonisation pathway, the Port is actively exploring alternative fuel solutions which would dramatically reduce emissions as we seek to reach Net Zero well ahead of 2050.

Commenting on the new pilot boat contract, Mike Ryan, Harbourmaster at the Port of Milford Haven said:

“Around twenty percent of the UK’s energy needs are handled or processed by the energy facilities within the Port of Milford Haven which means our ability to move ships in and out of the port in a safe, reliable, and timely manner, with proper regard to the environment is vital; not only to our business, but to the resilience and security of UK energy.

“This significant investment in a new pilot vessel will ensure that our highly skilled teams, who operate in some of the most challenging sea conditions anywhere in the world, can continue to deliver a safe, resilient, year-round service to our customers.”

Steven Bonder, Project Manager at Next Generation Shipyards added: “We are really proud that the contract is signed to develop and build the new pilot vessel for the Port of Milford Haven. Together with Camarc Design we are confident to build the best pilot vessel for the Port of Milford Haven. After the extensive procurement procedure we are looking forward to start the engineering and design phase and to start the build of the pilot boat next year.”

The new pilot transfer vessel is expected to be in service in 2025 and further investments in the Port’s fleet will be made over the next few years.

More information on the Port of Milford Haven’s activities can be found here: www.mhpa.co.uk.

Pictured above: L to R – Steven Bonder (NGS), Jamie Furlong (MHPA), Albert Keizer, Dirk Keizer (NGS), Ian Shipperly, Chris Martin, Tom Sawyer, Gareth Phillips (MHPA), Steven Lee (BMT), Mike Ryan, Luke Mason (MHPA).

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£1m boost for marine, fisheries and aquaculture industry in Wales

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£1 MILLION of Welsh Government funding is being made available to boost the marine, fisheries and aquaculture industry in Wales, Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths has announced.

The support comes from the Welsh Marine and Fisheries Scheme, with the application window for this funding opening today. The scheme aims to ensure environmentally and economically sustainable growth in the sector and help coastal communities prosper into the future.

Those in the industry can apply for funding for a wide range of activities from 11 separate categories.

These include, but are not limited to, funding to increase the potential of aquaculture sites and equipment on vessels aimed at reducing emissions and increasing energy efficiency, and professional advice for businesses ranging from marine environment sustainability to business and marketing strategies. Applicants could also apply for funding for projects to carry out research on health safety and wellbeing needs for the sector.

The maximum grant award is £100,000, with the minimum grant award being £500. The application window closes on 10 May and successful applicants will be notified during July.

Applicants must be registered with Rural Payments Wales (RPW) Online, where the application and claims processes can be found. Details of the scheme, including guidance, can be found on the Welsh Government’s website – www.gov.wales/marine-fisheries-grants

Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths said: “I am pleased to be able to make £1 million available to support our marine, fisheries and aquaculture industry.

“The Welsh Marine and Fisheries Scheme offers funding for a broad range of actions which can be vital in helping businesses to take advantage of opportunities and grow.

“I encourage everyone with an interest to visit the Welsh Government’s website to learn more about the scheme and apply by the closing date of 10 May.”

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St David’s Day boost: Pembs creamery launches new Welsh milk price

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PEMBROKESHIRE CREAMERY, which is set to begin production this spring, has used St Davids’ Day to launch its new milk price for Welsh milk.

Using the industry-recognised Liquid Standard Litre the company has announced an April milk price of 38.5 pence per litre.

Pembrokeshire Creamery will be the only liquid milk bottling facility in Wales certified to supply Welsh supermarkets. Ultimately this will be local Welsh milk, produced, processed and distributed from this new development.

Eliminating the need for transporting milk to England for processing, Pembrokeshire Creamery significantly reduces food miles, streamlines the supply chain, creates new skilled jobs in Pembrokeshire, and bolsters local farming communities. This efficiency enables Pembrokeshire Creamery to offer producers who have already committed, and those following the project as it develops, a competitive milk price from April 2024.

Mark McQuade, managing director, Pembrokeshire Creamery said: “It seemed fitting, on St David’s Day, to launch an April milk price for Welsh milk which we hope will be sufficiently competitive to attract farmers from across the region to consider us as a potential customer.

“We will be the only BRC Certified facility to offer Welsh milk that is also bottled in Wales enabling us to offer an authentically Welsh milk supply for Welsh supermarket stores.

“This unique selling point gives Pembrokeshire Creamery, and the farmers who work with us, a strong point of difference in meeting the needs of both retailers and consumers who increasingly value locally-sourced produce,” he said.

The development of Pembrokeshire Creamery has been supported by the Welsh Government and the EU RDP-funded Food Business Investment Scheme. Additional funding has been supplied by HSBC.

(Cover Image: Mark Sinclair)

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Indian baker inspired to make Welsh cakes in Mumbai

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A BAKER based in India has been impressing locals after trying her hand at Welsh cakes, finding inspiration in an old family recipe.

Desiree Bradford, who runs the Goodie Bag Co based in Mumbai, has enjoyed baking the much-loved Welsh treats, despite having no idea what they were supposed to taste like beforehand.

Born and raised in Mumbai, she was given an old family recipe by Mitchell Theaker, a Welsh native who recently moved to the country as the Welsh Government’s head of India.

Desiree said: “It definitely made me nervous; trying to recreate something that Mitch has had since childhood, it was a big ask.

“Also, I had no idea what it actually tastes like. I did enjoy the process – learning about it – that it was meant to be a hardy food for the miners, who carried them in their pockets.

“Mitch was very encouraging with his feedback and after a few trials – I hope I can do some justice to the Welsh cakes.”

She’s also created a fusion to celebrate the coming together of the two nations, in addition to the original recipe – an Indian-inspired rose, cardamom and pistachio flavour.

St David’s Day is being celebrated in Mumbai as the Welsh Government announces that 2024 is the year of Wales in India.

Year-long celebrations will bring the two nations together through a series of events, stories and activities which celebrate the two nations of culture and innovation.  

Food is playing a key part in the celebrations – both throughout the year and at the St David’s Day events.

Alongside showcasing popular brands, such as Penderyn whisky and Calon Wen cheese to a global market, Desiree made more than 1,000 Welsh cakes ready for the St David’s Day celebrations in Mumbai.

Desiree, who also loves to ride motorcycles in her spare time, wasn’t actually sure what the cakes were supposed to taste like. She said: “The first time I made Welsh cakes, I could not gauge if it was supposed to taste like a cookie or a pancake or a scone.

“I had to watch lots of videos on dos and don’ts, it does take some time to understand just how much to cook it, so it doesn’t get dry.

“Since then I have been enjoying the Welsh cakes – especially when they are straight off the pan.”

The recipe came from Mitchell’s grandmother, who was from Ynyshir, and he believes she probably got the recipe from her mother.

Mitchell said: “My grandmother lived in Ynyshir, Rhondda all her life.

“Seeing her Welsh cake recipe, being baked in Mumbai with such love for our Saint David’s Day events, well, it’s really touching.

“To us it’s more than just a set of instructions; it’s a piece of our family’s heart and history that Desiree has honoured so beautifully.

“The timeless appeal of genuine, traditional, home-cooked goodness. It’s a beautiful bridge between our two countries.”

Baking Welsh cakes has even inspired her to learn more about our nation, and even attempt to try more Welsh classics.

“I honestly can’t say that I know much about Wales, but I am definitely inspired to visit and curious to try some other Welsh favourites like the Bara Brith.”

For the latest news and updates on Wales in India, follow @WalesInIndia on twitter and Wales in India on LinkedIn.

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