Prudential to invest in U.K.’s 320-MW Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay power project

Insurer and financial services firm Prudential has agreed to become a “cornerstone investor” in the 320-MW Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay tidal power project in the Wales.

Tidal Lagoon Power Ltd. is developing the project as a 9.5-kilometer-long sea wall in Swansea Bay, South Wales, to be lined with hydropower turbines. Rising and falling tides would provide the kinetic motion needed for energy production.

Prudential’s long-term insurance funds are to provide the funding through its European asset management arm, M&G Investments. In the United Kingdom, Prudential manages about 25.8 billion euros (US$33 billion) of direct infrastructure investments.

“Prudential is committed to invest in infrastructure projects that benefit the national economy,” Prudential plc Group Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam said. “We also are proud to play our part in the development of this world-leading renewable energy technology.”

Thiam said financing of the tidal power station is emblematic of Prudential’s role in transforming savings of millions of its customers into long-term productive investment in the U.K. economy.

“Securing the backing of a world-renowned investment institution marks another milestone for the Swansea Bay project and is a clear endorsement of our vision to introduce tidal lagoon infrastructure into the U.K.’s low-carbon energy mix,” Tidal Lagoon Power Chief Executive Mark Shorrock said. “Tidal lagoons will employ British industry to harness a British natural resource and return profits to British institutions.”

Renewable power provider Good Energy announced in May it had taken an equity stake in the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project, marking the company’s first foray into tidal energy.  

Design, engineering and project management consultancy group Atkins Global was named client’s engineer for the project in August. Atkins is to provide a range of site supervision, auditing and technical checking services after a design and build contractor is appointed in spring 2015.

Swansea Bay would qualify as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project under the U.K.’s Planning Act of 2008, given it has a capacity in excess of 100 MW. The project was accepted for consideration by the U.K.’s Planning Inspectorate in March.
 

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