Russia’s Martex to present tidal dam proposal

Ards councillors in Northern Ireland are expecting a visit from Russia power project company unit, Martex Invest, to listen to their proposed plan for a tidal power plant based at the barrier across Strangford Lough.

By K.Steiner-Dicks on Dec 17, 2013

The unique structure would also see the first road constructed over the lough – a beauty spot and important wildlife habitat, according to the Belfast Telegraph, that reported of the proposed meeting.

Portaferry SDLP councillor Joe Boyle who is looking forward to the Martex meeting said in the report that the barrier would run by Ballyquinton Road just outside Portaferry to Killard Road on the south Down side.

"This has the potential to be the largest green energy scheme on the island," he told the council.

Portavogie UUP councillor Angus Carson seconded Boyle's proposal, but said he had many questions about the plan.

The tide at Strangford is one of the most powerful in the world. There is already a tidal turbine generator in the lough which can produce enough electricity to power thousands of homes.

The 250MW construction at the mouth of the lough would produce 1115GWh of green energy a year and could be a "famous attraction", said Martex Invest Ltd. There is a similar scheme in Kislogubskaya in Russia.

Down District Council has already voted to invite Martex Chief Executive Vladlen Lunin to outline plans to them.

In a letter to Down District Council, Lunin said the construction would boost the local economy and expand transport infrastructure. He also claimed it could be a tourist attraction.

The news report cited statements from Lunin: "It is well known that second in popularity with tourists after the Eiffel Tower site is the Rance tidal power plant in France, visited by up to 200,000 tourists a year. It is quite realistic to expect that something similar will happen with the Strangford tidal power plant.

Lunin also said that the proposed project would appease environmentalists and fishermen, "The Strangford tidal power plant's dam will be equipped with a number of sluices sufficient for the migration of fish and marine animals.

"In addition, a road is to be constructed on the dam that will connect the existing Killard and Ballyquintin Roads, improving transport," he said.