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Ken Skates, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure

First published:
5 October 2016
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

I was pleased to receive this week a report by Tidal Lagoon Power Ltd. looking at the industrial opportunities arising from a programme of tidal lagoon plants. (external link).

The report outlines the exciting opportunity associated with first deployment of tidal lagoon technology in a UK context, presenting a unique opportunity for the manufacturing and energy sectors in Wales. Not only to grow such an industry in a Welsh context, but also to access the sector on a wider UK and global scale.

Our commitment to renewable energy projects, including tidal lagoons, is set out in our new Programme for Government, “Taking Wales Forward”. We support tidal lagoons because they provide an opportunity to grow a vibrant Welsh industry that delivers prosperity aims in parallel with directly delivering against our decarbonisation commitments.

The energy sector is a key sector for the Welsh economy based on our natural resources, the long tradition of generation and a pipeline of major future investment. This includes the first of Tidal Lagoon Power’s projects, Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, which is estimated to create 1,900 jobs during construction with significant opportunities to develop supply chains for the wider community.

We have been engaging with Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon for a number of years across a range of areas and we continue to do so during the current Hendry Review, the UK Government’s Independent Review of tidal lagoons, to ensure Welsh businesses and the local economy gain maximum benefit. We are servicing this important project in a cross-government manner and have already provided support on a range of areas including skills and the supply chain.

The tidal lagoon has the support of the Swansea Bay City Region Board and other partners in the region who recognise the potential value of the project to Swansea, the Swansea Bay City Region and Wales as a whole.

Whilst I recognise the project requires a number of agreements yet to be reached, I am excited at the prospect of placing Wales at the forefront of the development of a tidal range sector across the UK.

I will continue to keep members updated as matters progress.