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Chinese firm and engineering boss exit Tidal Lagoon

swansea barrage

The developer behind the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project is retendering the marine works package after parting from the Chinese firm which was the preferred bidder.

In a separate development, it has also emerged that Andrew McNaughton, director of engineering and construction for the project, has left the role. However, he is expected to continue in an advisory capacity.

The China Harbour Engineering Company will no longer be working on the project after a review of the advanced works phase (AWP) for the project. It had bid to work on the 9.5km lagoon seawall.

A spokesperson for Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay (TLSB) said: “All tier one work packages made good progress under the AWP, with preferred bidders working in close collaboration with TLSB’s construction team. This has, in accordance with industry best practice, included a significant body of work to develop and test project design.

“We have now taken the decision to retender the marine works package in line with the requirement to deliver optimal value for money to investors and to consumers. The marine works package comprises the construction of the lagoon’s breakwaters and the temporary cofferdam in which the powerhouse structure will be built.

“It’s the one change following an internal review of all work packages and will not impact on project funding or the delivery timetable.

“We thank China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd for its contribution in helping to prepare a world-first energy project for delivery.

McNaughton’s appointment as engineering and construction director was announced in April last year. The role has responsibility for overseeing the technical development of the lagoon. Mike Unsworth, who joined last year as delivery director for the project, has now taken over the position.

A statement from the project said: “Having joined Tidal Lagoon Power last summer, Mike Unsworth has been appointed as director of engineering and construction and will lead the delivery of the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon.

“He brings over 30 years of experience to the role, including the delivery of some of the UK’s largest renewable energy infrastructure projects. We are now discussing an ongoing advisory role with Andrew McNaughton, who has built a first-class delivery team and led the first project through its pre-construction phase.”

Earlier this year, government announced a tidal power review which is still underway. 

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