Heavy engineering specialists Sheffield Forgemasters have joined a body of senior business owners and directors in Wales working to maximise the potential of a new tidal lagoon industry in the UK.
The Wales Tidal Industry Advisory Group was established in January 2014 to realise the commercial benefits of the proposed Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon. Chaired by Roger Evans MBE, the Group has now expanded to include representatives from UK and Welsh suppliers of critical components with the skills and capacity to support the long term tidal lagoon industrial base.
Producing some of the largest bespoke engineered products in the world, Sheffield Forgemasters have the capacity for castings of up to 350 tonnes and forgings of up to 170 tonnes finished weight.
Roger Evans MBE explains:
“Working with Tidal Lagoon Power Limited, the development company behind the proposed Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, we want to see a minimum 50% of Welsh and 65% UK content for the first tidal lagoon. Our work to date proves that here is a world class cluster of manufacturing, assembly and construction businesses in Wales capable of creating a supply chain for Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon and a further five tidal lagoons across the United Kingdom.”
“We are now reaching out to other suppliers throughout the UK to invite them to help us to ensure that we can meet the self-imposed 65% UK content benchmark and will be reviewing the Group on a regular basis to ensure that all interested parties are able to contribute to this exciting opportunity.”
Graham Honeyman, Chief Executive of Sheffield Forgemasters, said:
“This is one of the most exciting projects in British engineering and a positive step forward in the UK’s need to broaden its power generating capacity. The UK has the facilities, and the companies, capable of some of the most technically advanced design and manufacture of engineered components in the world, and this project can utilise those skills and services.”
Development Director for Tidal Lagoon Power, Ioan Jenkins adds:
“This working group represents a best-in-class consortium of UK and international industrial businesses to establish production facilities and supply chains to serve Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay and future developments. The response has been fantastic over the last few months with many leading industrial businesses asking to get involved to demonstrate the skills, experience and capacity that they have to deliver critical components including manufacturing stages related to turbine fabrication, assembly, machining, forging, casting and coating. Indeed, we are in discussion with DavyMarkham, Goodwin International, Cammell Laird and Harland Wolff.”
A report on the economic potential of Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon was published by the Welsh
Economy Research Unit at Cardiff University in December 2013. It estimates that Swansea Bay Tidal
Lagoon will generate a £300 million spend, 1850 jobs and £173 million GVA within the three year development phase.