Tidal Lagoon Power has launched a tender for the design and construction of a £22 million Turbine Manufacturing and Pre-Assembly Plant in Swansea Bay.
The new facility would be the ‘beating heart’ of a British tidal lagoon turbine industry, focusing particularly on the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, which has now been brought forward as a pathfinder project for the UK and for international tidal lagoons at full-scale. Tidal Lagoon Power has over five years worked with the supply chain to write Welsh and British industry into the DNA of this new global market from the outset.
The company has also launched a report entitled ‘Ours to Own’ outlining the scale of the potential industrial opportunity to be gained by the UK. The report sets out how Britain’s first mover advantage in the production of major components for tidal lagoon turbines, generators and turbine housings at Swansea Bay can be sustained and grown as the tidal lagoon sector scales in the UK and worldwide.
“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” said Mark Shorrock, Tidal Lagoon Power’s chief executive. “It is an extraordinary opportunity. 180 years ago Brunel built the Great Western Railway and we still celebrate that British manufacturing and engineering success today. A roll out of tidal lagoons will be of equally significant scale and will also benefit our country for over a century”.
Jeremy Nicholson, Director, Energy Intensive Users Group added that British industry sees a number of attractions in tidal lagoons – predictable energy generation to maintain security of supply, the potential for long term cost reduction with deployment at scale, and significant opportunities for British manufacturing during construction.
The immediate opportunity is for the UK’s engineering, construction, steel and manufacturing industries to win contracts totalling over £800 million at Swansea Bay and over £6 billion for the first project to employ its template at full-scale at Cardiff.
In addition to significant value captured through project design, services and operations, as well as more than half a billion pounds of investment in new UK industrial facilities, the report finds the potential value of the tidal lagoon sector to UK industry to be £17 billion for tidal lagoon turbines and generators made in Britain; £24 billion for tidal lagoon turbine housings made in Britain, and £30 billion for exports to the international tidal lagoon market.
Roger Evans MBE, Chair of the independent Tidal Lagoon Industry Advisory Group, said that the country has the natural resource, needs the power and has the manufacturing skills to take on the challenge within Britain itself. A huge domestic market creates the ideal conditions for standardisation and mass manufacture, giving the UK a competitive edge on the world stage.
The 100 metre long Turbine Manufacturing & Pre-Assembly Plant will be located between the Kings and Queens Dock at Swansea Bay, following a competitive tender of potential locations for the facility last year. The facility will receive major turbine components from manufacturers across Wales and wider Britain, with all machining and pre-assembly of the sixteen 7.2 metre runner diameter turbines required by the pathfinder tidal lagoon taking place on site. The facility, future proofed for exponential market growth, will initially employ up to 100 skilled workers, with an additional 150 project workers accommodated in an onsite office welfare area.