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South wales aerial shot

A world leading truly sustainable industrial cluster

We worked with South Wales’ leading industrial, academic, legal and public and private organisations to explore routes to decarbonisation of the region’s industrial cluster making it the world’s first net zero emissions industrial zone by 2040.

  • Service 1

Innovate UK

  • Service 1

Future shaping strategic consultancy and consultancy & advisory

  • Service 1

March 2021 - April 2023

Key benefits

c.16 million

Metric Tonnes Equivalent CO₂/year (potential to decarbonise)


Wales based industry and manufacturing jobs to be preserved and secured


new, skilled jobs in clean energy infrastructure to be created

Enabling projections of £2-4Bn/y

inward investment across Wales to achieve net zero carbon by 2050

Prosperous clean growth

for future generations in Wales, anchoring foundation and emerging industry to Wales and building localised supply chains

Decarbonising industry in South Wales for UK Research and Innovation

Costain led the South Wales Industrial Cluster (SWIC) deployment project, collaborating with multiple partners to develop up to 35 individual carbon-reduction programmes. The project aims to increase energy efficiency and avoid carbon emissions while exploring opportunities for Carbon Capture Usage and Storage (CCUS) and low carbon power generation to decarbonise industry in South Wales and support the green industrial revolution agenda.

As lead for deployment, our consultants used their deep client insight and industry knowledge gained from years of delivering integrated complex delivery programmes across multiple sectors, to provide advice and practical options to achieve better outcomes for the economy of South Wales.

South Wales Industrial Cluster, phase two

SWIC evolution

Phase one of the SWIC deployment project involved completing initial assessments of decarbonisation schemes for projects across South Wales, including several at both Port Talbot, and Milford Haven. Phase two opened the door to the UK government’s Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge and the deployment project was awarded £20m of funding from Innovate UK and a further £17.6m has been contributed by the deployment project partner companies. This funding was granted to enable the development of innovative solutions to reduce industrial emissions in the region.

SWIC is a diverse mix of industrial activities from the Pembrokeshire coastline to the Welsh/English border with the common goal of decarbonisation and clean growth.

They include:

  • Steel making
  • Oil refining
  • Power
  • Nickel manufacturing
  • Insulation manufacturing
  • Chemical
  • LNG import
  • The Royal Mint

The aim of the SWIC deployment project was to create pathways and opportunities to promote Wales as a leading global player in decarbonised industrial and economic growth, with a goal of net zero carbon (NZC) by 2040.

“The benefits to South Wales will be substantial, not just in terms of the environmental impact but also the opportunities for job creation and increasing the global competitiveness of industry in the area. It once again showcases the UK’s industry as being at the forefront of innovation and creation of greener solutions for the future.”

Bryony Livesey, challenge director for the Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge

Contact and social


Laura Hughes, Sector Director - Energy
01628 842444
[email protected]