Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Banks back Severn Barrage funding

The Severn Barrage is still viable and could be funded by private finance, an expert in financing infrastructure schemes told NCE this week.

Credit Agricole CIB managing director and head of project finance for its Global Loan Syndication Group Liam O’Keeffe believes that the project is viable for private funding, countering the government’s view that the private sector would not meet its huge construction costs (NCE 21 October). However, O’Keeffe stressed this was his personal view and not that of his bank.

“It’s a big infrastructure project and we need to understand the values of it,” he said. “The Severn Barrage is a predictable, proven technology, unlike say offshore wind.”

Planning process “biggest problem”

O’Keeffe suggests the biggest problem for the project is the planning process. He believes that with the right planning conditions and finance package the project could become viable.

“You can break the project up into financial packages such as dam construction and energy generation.”

“A project such as the Severn Barrage would require a core equity from the big sponsors, for example EdF or Centrica, of about £4.5bn to £5bn and the rest could be split into packages of about £2bn to £2.5bn.”

The comments come a month after Corlan Hafran was formed by engineering and finance firms to push the scheme forward (NCE 21 October).
Credit Agricole helps arrange finance for public private partnerships (PPP) and has recently been involved in the M25 and Bristol Hospital schemes in the UK.

Readers' comments (1)

  • The best news for Renewable Energy for some time. Divorced from public funding it would also provide the best opportunity for UK engineers to demonstrate "value for money" with the most efficient engineering system allied to the most efficient construction techniques all under the direct control of the Lead Contractor. All unfettered by state bureacracy and interference.
    Can I suggest they allow a sum of money, relatively very small compared to the overall project cost, for "re-building" sections of the wild life areas to satisfy the environmentalists and the RSB. Wild life is adaptable - far more than most people realise, and with staged adjustments and transfers into adjacent areas minimal impact could be achieved.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.