Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said the £1.3bn project was not value for money, despite claims by its developers, Tidal Lagoon Power (TLP), that a revised offer made it cheaper. But the UK government said it would not pay the fee that TLP is asking for the generated energy, reports the BBC. The project, to be located off Swansea Bay, had £200m backing from the Welsh Government and was being boosted as offering potential for a new £22m turbine manufacturing & pre-assembly plant in Swansea Bay that would be "the beating heart of a Made in Britain tidal lagoon turbine industry”.
But Mark Shorrock, founder and chief executive of TLP, has pushed back against the government's decision. He is reported by www.theconstructionindex.co.uk as saying that the minister has been misinformed about the costs of the project. “He [Greg Clark] says Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon will cost three times nuclear. This is incorrect. Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon will add just 30 pence to consumers’ bills, whereas Hinkley Point C will add £12 or more to bills.”
He adds: “The like-for-like comparison is that both Swansea and Hinkley Point C need a contract of £92.5 for 35 years, combined with other forms of government support.The difference is that one is a small bet on a homegrown and reliable energy future with minimal impact on consumers (30 pence a year on bills), the other is a massive gamble with energy security to the advantage of foreign companies and at huge cost to consumers (up to £15 a year on bills).”
And he concludes: “While we establish the way forward for our Welsh projects, greater emphasis will naturally be placed upon the projects we are already developing in international waters, including those in northern France.”
A website (www.tidallagoonpower.com) had been set up and had attracted some 1,000+ supply chain companies to express interest in becoming involved with the project. Hopes had been high. Says the website: “This new global industry will support the delivery of tidal range projects across the UK and internationally.
“Our aim is to ensure that 65% of the capital expenditure is spent within the UK. An independent Tidal Lagoon Industry Advisory Group is championing the new emerging tidal lagoon industry and supporting its development across the UK. This group consist of 10 industrialists and is chaired by Roger Evans MBE (MD Schaeffler UK),” the website reads.
And TLP had launched ‘Ours to Own’, a report on the scale of the British industrial opportunity presented by tidal lagoons, and a tender for the design and construction of a new £22m turbine manufacturing & pre-assembly plant in Swansea Bay, described as being "the beating heart of a Made in Britain tidal lagoon turbine industry”.