Swansea tidal lagoon investments put on hold

Artist's Impression - Swansea Bay tidal lagoon (Image: TLP)

Swansea tidal lagoon investors have reportedly decided to put off further investments in the proposed £1.3 billion project as it could hit delays amid the UK government’s indecisiveness to give it a final go-ahead.

More than £200 million has been provisionally committed by the investors headed by Prudential, according to Financial Times.

However, the investors are reluctant to provide additional funding for the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon due to the fact that the UK government has still not given the final go-ahead for the project, the Financial Times reports.

“If there’s no evidence that the government is committed then at some point the patience of investors will be exhausted. An opportunity will have been lost and it will be very hard to piece together again in future,” David Stevens, one of the investors in the project, and also a founder of Admiral Insurance, said for Financial Times.

The project has received the backing in a review conducted by former UK energy minister Charles Hendry, who called the government to give the green light for the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project ‘as soon as reasonably practicable’ since tidal lagoons can play a ‘cost-effective part in the UK’s energy mix.’

The report has been published in January 2017, and the UK government still hasn’t responded to the positive recommendations made by Hendry as it is continuing with the assessment of the review results.

The project has received the planning consent two years ago and has the backing of the Welsh government in addition to cross party support in Westminster.

The most recent voice of support came from the Unite trade union which has urged the UK government to stop stalling on the creation of over 2,000 jobs and unleash an economic boost worth at least £500 million to the Welsh economy by giving the green light for the project.

If constructed, the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon will have the capacity of 320MW. It will comprise 16 hydro turbines, a six mile breakwater wall, and be capable of generating electricity for 155,000 homes for the next 120 years.

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