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News » UK » Indian investment lifts Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project » published 1 Feb 2016

Indian investment lifts Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project

The owners of Indian-origin conglomerate SIMEC and steel firm Liberty House have invested more than £10m to acquire a stake in Tidal Lagoon Plc, a holding company established by Tidal Lagoon Power Ltd to finance the development of full-scale tidal lagoons.

China Harbour Engineering Company is preferred bidder for the £300m marine works contract in Swansea Above: China Harbour Engineering Company is preferred bidder for the £300m marine works contract in Swansea

UK-based Sanjeev Gupta founded Liberty as a metals trading company in 1992. His family’s SIMEC conglomerate has interests in shipping, industrial, mining, energy and commodities around the world.

Gupta family interests have been investing heavily in UK energy and industrial assets over recent months, acquiring the 393MW Uskmouth Power Station at Newport, restarted a mothballed steel rolling mill at Newport and rescuing former Caparo companies in the West Midlands.

Tidal Lagoon's first project, a posposed £1bn development in Swansea Bay, has been held up by negotiations with the government overs subsidies.

In a statement, Tidal Lagoon said that 'Gupta family interests' were investing 'an eight-figure sum' to acquire 'a substantial stake' in Tidal Lagoon Power Ltd.

Sanjeev Gupta said: “We are very pleased to invest in this ambitious and innovative enterprise that promises to provide low-carbon, baseload energy and drive economic renewal through the development of a high-value supply chain that will create thousands of new jobs. As a group we are expanding internationally on several fronts and renewable energy is right at the heart of that expansion.”

SIMEC and Tidal Lagoon Power have now formed a joint venture to develop tidal lagoons in India. The first feasibility studies will be conducted in the Gulf of Khambhat.

Andrew Manley, executive director at Tidal Lagoon Power, said: “Just like the Severn Estuary and Liverpool Bay here in the UK, the Gulf of Khambhat holds vast potential for the generation of power from tidal lagoons. We’re looking forward to working with SIMEC to better understand the natural resource in Gujarat and shape our commercial plans accordingly.  Back in the UK, we welcome the Gupta family to our investor base at an extremely exciting time for the sector.”

Jay Hambro, chief executive of SIMEC’s energy and mining divisions said: “We are investing in tidal lagoon as part of a wider strategy to expand our involvement in the renewable sector globally. It’s a very exciting development for us because we see huge potential for renewables in the energy mix and, as such, it will be a substantial part of our business going forward.

He added: “The scope presented by tidal lagoons for economic growth and job creation in Wales and the UK is clear, and, in partnership with Tidal Lagoon Power, we are also talking to authorities in India about exporting tidal power technology from the UK to develop projects there.”

He said that SIMEC’s substantial land holding on the Severn Estuary at Newport provided a basis for the development of a tidal lagoon and other renewable energy capacity there. SIMEC restarted the mothballed Uskmouth Power Station in June 2015 as a coal-fired facility but plans to convert it eventually to biomass generation.

Tidal Lagoon Powers already has a deal with China Harbour Engineering Company to work together on the development of tidal lagoon power projects in Asia, particularly at sites along China’s 18,000km coastline.






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This article was published on 1 Feb 2016 (last updated on 1 Feb 2016).

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