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Firm planning 'significant' docks spending

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: November 30, 2012

By richard youle

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AN under-scrutiny ship repair and dismantling company has said it is planning "significant investment" at Swansea docks.

The company, Swansea Drydocks Ltd, faces opposition from some local residents and politicians after seeking permission to use a "wet berth" for its dismantling work.

It said the wet berth would make the operation more efficient.

"We are now planning significant financial investment in preparing the wet berth area to meet Environment Agency requirements," said a Swansea Drydocks spokeswoman.

"It is important to note that the recycling-related activities intended to take place at the wet berth — 'soft-stripping' and the removal of some hazardous wastes — are no different to those that take place for ship repair activities.

"While ship repair operations are not currently regulated by the Environment Agency, ship recycling operations are, hence the need for the permit to include this area of the site.

"For Swansea Drydocks to gain its permit, it must demonstrate compliance with agency standards, which are far more stringent than for equivalent ship repair activities."

She added: "The company has faced many challenges prior to and since operations began on January 1, 2012, and we remain dedicated to our vision of being a world-class facility."

Last week the Post reported claims by Eastside councillors Clive Lloyd and Joe Hale that investors could be deterred from nearby SA1 if Swansea Drydocks gained the wet berth permit.

"It just flies in the face of what we are trying to portray as the future of SA1," said Mr Lloyd.

Mr Hale said he did not think a "breakers' yard" fitted in with the aim of SA1 and Swansea becoming a centre for tourism and business.

In response Swansea Drydocks worker Mark Morris of St Thomas said he could not see what the fuss was all about.

He said: "I have been employed at Swansea dry docks for two years now, and so are 20-plus other local boys.

"The owners of Swansea Drydocks have done an amazing job setting up at the docks and I am proud to be part of the workforce."

Commenting on our website www.thisissouthwales.co.uk, StephenG11 criticised the councillors, saying: "Perhaps they would like the council to seek to destroy any other businesses remaining? We can not survive by 'leisure, retail and housing alone'."

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  • markmorris123  |  December 03 2012, 7:43PM

    who do they think will buy sa1 new builds if we have no jobs at the docks clowns in suits lining their pockets from taxpayers money

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  • conn8d  |  November 30 2012, 8:28PM

    Industry & shipping too downmarket for Swansea now is it !

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