Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon: £300m boost to Welsh economy

The multi-million pound Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project is being welcomed by Welsh politicians, local businesses and residents following projections that the tidal energy project is expected to be worth £300m to the Welsh economy.

By K.Steiner-Dicks on Dec 17, 2013

If planning permission is granted for the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon construction could start in 2015 with the first electricity being generated in 2018.

A report on the project has been written by the Welsh Economy Research Unit at Cardiff University and projected the scheme could generate a capital investment of £756m, £300m of which would be spent in Wales.

It is also expected to support around 1,850 full time equivalent jobs across the region from 2015 if the lagoon is completed on schedule.

Planning will be submitted in January 2014 with a decision expected in early 2015 followed by a three year construction period.

For all tidal range projects, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has said it will ‘directly negotiate’ strike prices. In response to this, a spokeswoman for Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon said: “Therefore no strike price has been set for Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay but a process of negotiation has begun between ourselves and DECC to establish both strike price and length of contract for the project.”

The latest report into the lagoon suggests the development phase of the project could lead to the creation of £173m of gross value added (GVA) for Wales.

The operational phase of the project after 2018 could support an estimated £5m in extra output for Wales, and £2.2m in GVA annually for the region.

Tidal Lagoon Power will be seeking UK and Welsh suppliers of components to create a sustainable long term tidal lagoon industrial base.

Mark Shorrock, chief executive officer of Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon said: “Swansea Bay will be the first in a series of developments in Wales and the wider UK such that supply infrastructure developed as part of this project could gain additional opportunities in the long term in serving a wider network of lagoon projects.

“We want to see a minimum 50% of Welsh content for our first tidal lagoon and will work with Welsh industry to ensure that the region capitalises on its first-mover advantage to serve subsequent tidal lagoon developments.

Shorrock also said that the business wants to see the Swansea City region become the supply chain bub for all tidal lagoons and are working up plans for a large scale assembly facility in the Swansea City Region.