Wales politics

Ministers 'should consider' £52m Swansea Bay tidal lagoon stake

Simon Thomas

Plaid Cymru has called for Welsh ministers to consider taking an equity stake worth around £52m in the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon.

Plaid natural resources spokesman Simon Thomas said the Welsh Government could benefit from UK subsidies if tidal energy was a success.

Plans for the £1.3bn Swansea Bay project have been backed by a UK government review by Charles Hendry.

The UK government still needs to agree on a deal.

A marine licence would also need to be approved.

Ahead of a debate on the tidal lagoon in the Senedd on Tuesday, Mr Thomas said that he would like to see ministers consider an investment of around the £52m cost of Cardiff Airport, purchased by Welsh ministers in 2013.

"If Hendry is accepted by the UK government then the actual project is deliverable," he said.

"It doesn't need money. The Welsh Government doesn't have to take this investment.

'Good deal'

But he said: "If this then becomes a technology that Wales is going to specialise in, and we're going to see further tidal lagoons, then the Welsh Government will actually benefit from a UK subsidy."

"Because what they'll be doing is agreeing a price for electricity for 30 years.

"Anyone who invested in that company will benefit from that," he said.

"It's a good deal that the government should consider."

A Welsh Government spokeswoman said: "The Hendry reviews findings presents Wales with significant potential opportunities and challenges.

"We are considering the content of the report and look forward to discussions with UK government on taking the findings forward."

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