New facility to enable switch to low-carbon future

A £20m facility dubbed SWITCH has been launched in South Wales that aims to assist industry in the region create a low-carbon future.

Snapshot of a loading pattern for coke and iron ore into a blast furnace. It is a Discrete Element Model, which calculates the behaviour of material by applying Newtonian dynamics to particle interactions. When scaled up, the behaviour of the particles in the system can be predicted and viewed (Credit: Marc Holmes & Steve Brown, Swansea University)

Led by Neath Port Talbot Council and Swansea University, the new facility will see researchers, government and industry collaborating to deliver the solutions that will decarbonise the steel and metals sector and supply chain.

“South Wales is built on steel and metals,” said Chris Williams, head of industrial decarbonisation for Industry Wales and leader of the South Wales Industrial Cluster (SWIC). “We have the people, expertise and close collaborative relationships to lead the way to a net-zero carbon future for manufacturing industries across the globe.”

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SWITCH (South Wales Industrial Transition from Carbon Hub) forms part of the Supporting Innovation and Low Carbon Growth programme, led by Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council, as part of the Swansea Bay City Deal. It is expected to strengthen regional decarbonisation activity alongside new business, investment and job opportunities for a future green economy.

SWITCH will be an open access facility providing a purpose-built site and equipment for Swansea University to work with the steel and metals industry to develop steel and metal manufacturing processes to reduce carbon emissions, recover and recycle materials and by-products from manufacturing, and create advanced materials for construction, transport and packaging sectors.

“For Swansea University, successful regional partnerships are as much about supporting the development of people and skills as they are about innovative research. The SWITCH initiative will build upon our one-hundred-year history of purposeful collaboration with industry, to address the challenges of our time and deliver real innovation in Wales,” said Professor Paul Boyle, Vice-Chancellor of Swansea University.

“This new SWITCH hub will further expand our University’s research capabilities to work alongside industry and government, in support of our shared ambition for a net-zero Wales.”


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