Indian push for tidal lagoons

Gupta family interests have committed to an eight-figure investment over time in the development of tidal lagoon power plants in the UK and India.

The move is part of a wider strategy by Gupta company, SIMEC, to create multi-billion pound renewable energy capacity worldwide and apply innovative technologies to provide low-cost power for energy-intensive industries.

The investment agreed today, February 1, 2016, gives Gupta interests a substantial stake in Tidal Lagoon Plc, a holding company established by Tidal Lagoon Power to finance the development of full-scale tidal lagoons in UK and international waters, Tidal Lagoon Power’s press release reads.

Sanjeev Gupta, Gupta family representative, said: “We are very pleased to invest in this ambitious and innovative enterprise that promises to provide low-carbon, baseload energy and drive economic renewal through the development of a high-value supply chain that will create thousands of new jobs. As a group we are expanding internationally on several fronts and renewable energy is right at the heart of that expansion.”

Furthermore, today’s agreement also leads to the creation of a joint venture between the Guptas’ global energy and commodities company, SIMEC, and Tidal Lagoon Power to develop largescale tidal lagoons in India.

The first feasibility studies will be conducted in the Gulf of Khambhat under the terms of a memorandum of understanding that Tidal Lagoon Power is to establish with the Government of Gujarat which expressed interest in the scope for tidal lagoons in the state.

Andrew Manley, Executive Director at Tidal Lagoon Power, said: “Just like the Severn Estuary and Liverpool Bay here in the UK, the Gulf of Khambhat holds vast potential for the generation of power from tidal lagoons. We’re looking forward to working with SIMEC to better understand the natural resource in Gujarat and shape our commercial plans accordingly. Back in the UK, we welcome the Gupta family to our investor base at an extremely exciting time for the sector.

Jay Hambro, CEO of SIMEC’s energy and mining divisions, added: “We are investing in tidal lagoon as part of a wider strategy to expand our involvement in the renewable sector globally. The scope presented by tidal lagoons for economic growth and job creation in Wales and the UK is clear, and, in partnership with Tidal Lagoon Power, we are also talking to authorities in India about exporting tidal power technology from the UK to develop projects there.”

The world-first Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon will open up for the UK the option of delivering a programme of larger lagoons, according to Tidal Lagoon Power, which is pursuing five such schemes that, combined with the Swansea Bay project, could meet 8% of UK electricity demand for 120 years.

Proposed schemes at Cardiff and Newport, for which planning applications are expected in 2017 and 2018 respectively, represent some 4,000 MW of lagoon power and £10 billion of capital investment.