The Celtic Freeport appoints Brazilian as its chief executive

The Celtic Freeport, covering the ports of Milford Haven and Port Talbot, has appointed Brazilian Luciana Ciubotariu as its chief executive. It was named as one of two new freeports in Wales, alongside Holyhead, last year by the UK Government.

Both are preparing business cases and finalising governance arrangements with the aim of securing final governmental (both UK and Welsh) approvals later this year. As freeports they benefit from simplified customs procedures, relief on customs duties, tax benefits, and development flexibility.

The Celtic Freeport, with its two deep sea ports covering 600 acres, aims to become an integral part of the UK’s renewables sector and decarbonisation efforts, including accommodating manufacturing and assembly supply chains that will be created from floating windfarms in the Celtic Sea from the Crown Estate’s new licensing round. The new windfarms will have capacity to produce up to 4.5 gigawatt of renewable energy

Read More : Major funding boost for the port of Port Talbot

The freeport claims it has the potential to create 16,000 new jobs and attract £5.5bn in inward investment.

Ms Ciubotariu, who will take up her new role in May, brings a wealth of experience, having been part of the senior management team of the Thames Freeport as its head of trade an investment. She has also served as deputy head civil maritime (investment) at the Department for International Trade.

Ms Ciubotariu, who moved to the UK in 2020, said: “I am hugely excited to lead such as strong and purposeful partnership and I am looking forward to start soon and to collaborate with the wider community in achieving our ambitions for South Wales.

“The Celtic Freeport will play a pivotal role in the future of the green economy. I look forward to building further momentum behind the creation of a green investment corridor across South-West Wales. This is an exciting project that will accelerate supply chain innovation and encourage significant investment in port infrastructure, alternative fuel plants, renewable energy bases and factories, while fast-tracking skills development for new green industries and national decarbonisation.”

Chair of the Celtic Freeport, Roger Maggs, said: “The Celtic Freeport is an outstanding proposition and now we have the start of an outstanding team to lead us into our next phase.”

The Celtic Freeport is a public-private consortium whose partners include Associated British Ports (ABP), Neath Port Talbot Council, Pembrokeshire County Council, the Port of Milford Haven, alongside renewables developers, energy companies and academia.