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Hafren barrage proposal lacks detail minister tells MPs

Energy minister Greg Barker has slammed project promoter Hafren Power’s plans for a Severn barrage, saying they are not detailed enough to warrant government backing.


Severn: More barrage detail needed

Giving evidence to the Commons energy and climate change select committee Barker said Hafren Power’s proposals lacked information on the cost and environmental impact.

He hit out at the lack of information on the proposed £25bn scheme. “This is the executive summary,” said Barker, waving the thin file that is Hafren’s proposal document. “It’s not exactly a warehouse.”

He said Hafren Power’s business case - which is commercially confidential and has only been seen by the government and now the select committee - fails to give detailed information about the proposed 1,046 turbines to be used in the scheme

“We cannot take an informed view about the likely impact on the ecology nor a view of cost [without the turbine information],” Barker told the committee.

Critics have challenged the cost of Hafren Power’s proposal, particularly as it uses untested turbines (NCE 7 February).

A Hafren Power spokesman said he was “disappointed at the criticism of lack of detail from the committee when it has, for example, a 150 page business case from us”.

“However, we’ll keep working with the government to supply answers and secure support to proceed,” he said.

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