Carwyn Jones has made a last ditch bid to save the Swansea Tidal Lagoon project, which the UK Government is expected to reject this week. It includes putting a figure -£200 million- on the "substantial investment" by the Welsh Government that he'd previously offered.
The First Minister has followed up a telephone call to Energy Secretary Greg Clark with a letter which he's made public.
As I have repeatedly made clear to the UK Government, I am prepared to consider a substantial equity and/or loan investment by the Welsh Government in the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon if that would enable the project to move forward. However, I have also been clear that the project will only be able to proceed if there is commitment from the UK Government to an appropriate [electricity price] contract for difference arrangement. When we spoke yesterday, I raised the possibility of the Welsh and UK Governments making a joint offer to Tidal Lagoon Power in relation to the Swansea Bay project. In broad terms my proposal would be for the offer to comprise a Welsh Government commitment to an equity and/or loan investment of £200 million, with the UK Government committing to a contract for difference on the same terms as that offered to Hinckley Point C (£92.50 per megawatt hour in 2012 prices over a 35 year term from the date of commissioning). Such an offer would, I believe, strike an appropriate balance between supporting a pathfinder, low carbon energy generation project, in line with the findings of your own Hendry Review, while providing value for money. It would need to be a maximum, full and final offer from both Governments.
In response to Carwyn Jones letter, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy explained it was considering Charles Hendry's independent review into the lagoon.
The Government is considering the findings of Hendry review into tidal lagoons and an announcement will be made in due course.
Once again we thank the First Minister for his particularly timely initiative.
There is huge support in Swansea, Wales and across the UK for the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon. It's a once in a generation project that will transform our economy and the UK's energy supplies.
Swansea East MP Carolyn Harris has told the Sharp End programme that she's expecting a 'negative' decision and that she's 'fuming.'
She's also said that if the speculation proves to be true, the Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns should 'consider his position.'
I'm absolutely furious, this is something yet again the Tories are letting Wales down and they're certainly letting Swansea down.
The Lagoon opportunity for Swansea and the UK won’t simply go away just because the Government are too short-sighted to see the strategic benefits.