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Chinese investment group pledges £2bn for Welsh power and food production facilities

Words: Roger Milne
Port Talbot

A Chinese investment group is to provide £2 billion backing for two innovative biomass-burning combined heat and power plants and associated food production stations in Wales.

They could create 1,000 jobs and thousands more during the construction phase.

The company, SinoFortone, announced this week that it will back projects to develop energy and food facilities, initially at Holyhead and Port Talbot. The projects are being developed by Orthios Eco Parks.

The projects will take heat from biomass power stations and use the waste heat to grow food, starting with vegetables and the farming of king prawns.

The Holyhead facility, at the site of the former Anglesey Aluminium Plant at Holyhead, could be operational in 2017, while the Port Talbot facility is expected to become operational in three years time.

In Port Talbot, Othios and SinoFortone Group are working with Associated British Ports on the proposed project.

The investment commitment from SinoFortone was confirmed as the start of the official visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to the UK.

A spokesman for the Welsh Government said: "We welcome any further progress on these two projects, which have the potential to create hundreds of jobs and provide a major boost for the local economy.”