Welsh developer wants to make Britain hub for tidal lagoon power sector

Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay

A report released this week by Welsh developer Tidal Lagoon Power shows a significant economic opportunity for Britain should the region become a global hub for marine energy manufacturing.

The study, titled, "Ours to Own", focuses on the impact that could be made through the development of tidal lagoon projects like that currently being undertaken by TLP in Swansea.

That project -- a 320 MW proposal called the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon -- would potentially be the first of other similar projects that might eventually dot Britain's coasts.

According to the report, the domestic market for lagoon turbines and generators equates to about US$21.7 billion, $30.6 billion for turbine housings, and more than $38 billion for combined exports.

"This report captures the hard work of today's industrialists to ensure tidal lagoons are British-engineered, that the manufacturing supply chain is British, and that we seize and own what can be a seventy-billion pound sector for this nation," TLP CEO Mark Shorrock said. "180 years ago, Brunel built the Great Western Railway and we still celebrate that British manufacturing and engineering success today. A rollout of tidal lagoons will be of equally significant scale and will also benefit our country for over a century."

A tender worth $28 million concurrent with the study reflects Shorrock's desire to see Britain maintain its edge at the forefront of tidal lagoon development.

The tender, available for viewing here, calls for the design and construction of a turbine manufacturing and assembly plant, to be located between the Kings and Queens Dock in Swansea Bay. TLP said it the facility will be "future proofed for exponential market growth", with up to 250 jobs to be created upon its completion.

HydroWorld.com reported last February that TLSB had selected a consortium including General Electric and Andritz Hydro as preferred bidder to supply electromechanical equipment for the project. TLSB also selected Atkins Global as client's engineer for the project in August. The developer announced financial services firm Prudential had agreed to become a "cornerstone investor" in the project in October.

The project was accepted for consideration by the United Kingdom's Planning inspectorate last March, qualifying it as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) under the UK's Planning Act of 2008.

TLSB said it will run additional tenders through the summer for the construction of a turbine assembly plant in Wales, and the lagoon's public realm and buildings work.

The project is one specifically recognized in a recent report published by Marine Energy Pembrokeshire as having a strong impact on the Welsh economy.

Commercial operation is scheduled for 2019.

For more marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) news, visit here.

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