Welsh tidal welcomes new First Minister Drakeford

The signing of the Official Oath, marking the start of Mark Drakeford tenure as First Minister of Wales (Photo: Welsh government/Mark Drakeford)

Mark Drakeford has won the Welsh Labour leadership election, and officially became the First Minister for Wales, following the resignation of Carwyn Jones.

Drakeford has been a strong supporter of marine energy in Wales, and has a positive relationship with Marine Energy Wales and many developers around the country, according to the Welsh marine body, which welcomed the election of new First Minister.

Drakeford said: “It is an enormous privilege for me to be appointed First Minister of Wales. Every leader needs a strong team around them, and I am delighted to introduce my new cabinet which is a strong mix of experience, talent and passion.

“Brexit is our greatest challenge. In the extraordinary and regrettable circumstances created by the UK government, it is vital that we prepare for all outcomes.

“I have retained Ministers in posts where their experience of Brexit preparation is key, while creating a new post to reflect the priority I attach to international relationships and trade.

“As a government we will continue to speak up for Wales, to fight our country’s corner and make sure the government in London is never in any doubt at all of what matters to the people of Wales.”

In the new cabinet, Ken Skates will continue as Minister for Economy and Transport, while Lesley Griffiths remains Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs.

“Marine Energy Wales offer our congratulations to Mr Drakeford, and look forward to continuing to work with him in developing the industry and securing a sustainable future for Wales,” the Welsh marine industry body said.

Swedish marine energy developer Minesto, which has an active tidal energy project in Wales, also congratulated the ‘long-standing supporter of Minesto’ Drakeford on the new position.

“Minesto would like to congratulate Mr Drakeford and wish him the best of luck in leading Wales towards a sustainable future,” the company said.

Minesto’s commercial-scale Deep Green unit (Photo: Minesto)

Minesto has recently completed the offshore commissioning and test program of a tidal energy demonstration project in Holyhead Deep, having achieved electricity generation and verified the control system of its Deep Green tidal technology at utility scale.

The sea trials on Minesto’s 500kW machine culminated in the verification of the functionality of the Deep Green technology at a utility scale, and successfully flying full subsea operational trajectories, as informed earlier.

With the completion of its EU-funded project through the Welsh government, Minesto has made a decision to resume offshore operations on its tidal energy system in the second quarter of 2019.

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