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Carwyn Jones calls for Tidal Lagoon to get same UK Government deal as Hinkley

The UK Government is rumoured to be preparing to reject the proposed Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon.

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.

– Letter from First Minister Carwyn Jones AM to Energy Secretary Greg Clark MP

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.

– Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy spokesperson

Once again we thank the First Minister for his particularly timely initiative.

We look forward to seeing the UK Government’s positive response to a proposed joint deal on these terms.

The proposal for a joint deal with this structure is extremely constructive, we are eager to engage on it with all parties and it is a proposal we’d be delighted to take to our Board.

– Keith Clarke, chair, Tidal Lagoon

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.

We don't recognise the figures the Welsh Secretary is quoting when he says tidal is twice the price of nuclear.

Our understanding is the £200 million offer from Welsh Government which the Welsh Secretary has been aware of for some weeks, allows tidal in Swansea to be priced at the same as nuclear in Hinckley.

If the deal is good enough for nuclear in England it should be good enough for Tidal in Wales!

This is a game-changer and I hope the UK Government recognises it because we cannot let this opportunity slip through our hands.

– Rob Stewart, Leader of Swansea Council

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.

We've seen electrification being pulled and now we're seeing the tidal lagoon being pulled.

They're just pulling everything out from underneath us.

This is £2 billion worth of infrastructure we've seen reversed since the General Election last year.

This is dereliction of duty on behalf of the Secretary of State for Wales.

This really is not good enough.

I wonder sometimes who the Secretary of State for Wales is actually looking after as it's certainly not the Welsh people.

– SWANSEA EAST MP CAROLYN HARRIS

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.

Once again, the Government has overlooked and neglected South Wales, despite the fact that in Swansea we have the skills, expertise and infrastructure to construct the Tidal Lagoon and to build a UK export business in renewables.

Nuclear power is not a long term solution as the world’s uranium will run out within 10 years if just an eighth of global energy becomes nuclear. Once the Chinese have built Hinkley they will build more nuclear power stations round the world and uranium prices will go up as supplies run out.

Instead of just investing in energy whose costs are going up and their lifetime is going down we need to invest in Swansea Tidal Lagoon which will last for 100 years and can be scaled up at lower costs to provide five per cent of the UK’s energy needs. It will also create an export industry in renewable energy. We will run out of uranium but we won’t run out of waves on Swansea’s coastline.

– SWANSEA WEST MP, GERAINT DAVIES