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£30 million investment in Combined Food and Power facilities in Wales announced.

Media Release by Orthios Eco Parks

Orthios Eco Parks Limited and Bangor University have today announced the agreement to work towards the creation of a Combined Food and Power (CFP) Centre of Excellence.

The £30 million investment will be made by the Orthios/SinoFortone joint venture into a unique educational and training facility. The first of these will be established on the Orthios Eco Park, Anglesey at Holyhead with a future Centre of Excellence planned for Port Talbot.

The CFP Centre of Excellence will be for UK and international undergraduates, postgraduates and doctoral students (in combination with Chinese, UK universities and universities where the Orthios Group with SinoFortone is proposing other Eco Parks)

 The CFP Centre of Excellence on Anglesey will be in addition to the group’s commitment to offer apprenticeship schemes with links to the local secondary schools and colleges.  It will be based in a refurbished c.1800 meter square central administration and laboratory building which sits at the heart of the Orthios Eco Park at Holyhead, and will be adjacent to the proposed Energy Centre, hydroponics and aquaculture facilities on the site.

The Orthios team are already working closely with Bangor University’s Centre for Applied Marine Science and the School of Ocean Sciences on the production of on-land aquaculture as part of an ongoing collaboration.

Dr Peter Zhang of SinoFortone said
"We see the establishment of the Orthios CFP Centres of Excellence at all of the Orthios Eco Parks as a key strategy. We believe the need to train students and future managers in sustainable food and energy production alongside our university partners is critical to our success.

As we take the Orthios CFP solution global, our ability to train a team in Orthios' processes, in a safe scientific environment will gain maxim results. Students graduating from our Centre of Excellence will then have the opportunity to manage our new Orthios Eco Park facilities in China and beyond.

We are investing in the Orthios team, its CFP solutions and their capability to help us export this unique technology around the world. Orthios will retain the majority shareholding of their business and control its expansion. We will help them fulfil the full potential of their CFP solution and expand further on its capture carbon capabilities. Our CFP Centres of Excellence will help us refine this process and increase its capability to aid in combatting climate change. An enthusiastic, educated and well trained workforce will be a key component to the groups’ success. The investment in our workforce through the Orthios CFP Centres of Excellence will create an excellent foundation to build upon."

Orthios and their partners SinoFortone Group are delighted to have the opportunity to partner with Bangor University, as they consider them to be the perfect partners to tackle sustainable food production and the impact of man in the environment.

Sean McCormick, Orthios' Chief Executive Officer commented:
"We are lucky to have Bangor University so close to our first Eco Park on Anglesey. The opportunity to develop our research and development programme and train the teams to manage new our Eco Parks in the future will aid in our expansion. The University’s Schools of Ocean Sciences, Environment and Natural Sciences and their Biocomposities Centre also offer great education possibilities for an international audience.

The CFP Centres of Excellence are a priority to the group; the first will be at Holyhead, the second at Port Talbot with a total investment of £30 million over a 3 year period. We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with our University partners"

Bangor University has welcomed the announcement of the planned investment in Anglesey as a great boost to the local economy. The University, which has substantial expertise in aquaculture, plant science and the control and distribution of electricity, says that the proposed investment would provide career opportunities for local people as well as provide a range research opportunities which could lead to increased food security.

Professor John Hughes, Vice-Chancellor of Bangor University said: “The University has previously been involved at an earlier stage in this project, and has significant expertise and experience to make a real contribution to its successful implementation. We already have close ties to a range of companies in this region, and in addition we have considerable experience of working with partner universities in China. We look forward to working closely with the Orthios/SinoFortone group to bring this exciting project on our doorstep to fruition”

Albert Owen, MP Anglesey, said “I welcome the link-up between the Orthios project and local education establishments such as Bangor University to improve and establish a high quality skills base on Anglesey and in the region. Food and energy production is vital to the future and pioneering projects and partnerships will boost the local and national economy and promote job opportunities.”

First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones, said: “I welcome this investment in the Centre of Excellence and wider Eco Park development in Anglesey. These proposals fit in with our vision for developing the energy sector for the Anglesey economy. I look forward to the Welsh Government continuing to work with Orthios to help deliver this exciting project.”

Publication date: 23 October 2015