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Swansea tidal power scheme secures equity funding

Plans for a £1bn tidal power station in Swansea Bay received a huge funding boost this week.

Investment management fund InfaRed Capital Partners agreed to put the final required chunk of equity into the Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay project.

InfaRed will match the investment promised by insurance giant Prudential last October – thought to be in the region of £100M.

Along with other smaller pledges, the project now has about £220M of equity, with the remaining £780M expected to be raised on the debt market.

Project promoter Tidal Lagoon Power hopes to reach financial close on the scheme this summer – and begin construction immediately.

However, it still requires planning permission. The Planning Inspectorate is due to make a recommendation on the scheme to the energy secretary on 10 March.

If approved and finalised, the project will see a 9.5km sea wall and renewable energy plant built in South Wales.

This would generate in the region of 500GWh of electricity every year, enough to provide nearly all the domestic electricity for the Swansea Bay region.

The plant would save 236,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year, according to its promoter, and could be the first of six UK lagoons that could eventually provide 8% of the UK’s electricity needs.

InfraRed Capital Partners head of development infrastructure Bryn Jones said: “InfraRed has been at the forefront of developing leading edge infrastructure and renewable energy for nearly 20 years.

“Swansea Bay continues that tradition of development in a market – the UK – which leads the world in infrastructure development.”

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