Sihwa Tidal Power Plant (Screenshot/Source: YouTube)

Liverpool officials look to Far East for tidal barrage ideas

Representatives of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA) have embarked on a mission to South Korea, during which they will visit the Sihwa Tidal Power Plant near Seoul, the world’s largest tidal power plant in the world.

Sihwa Tidal Power Plant (Screenshot/Source: YouTube)
Sihwa Tidal Power Plant (Screenshot/Source: YouTube)
Sihwa Tidal Power Plant (Screenshot/Source: YouTube)

The mission to South Korea is part of a government-backed program to build relationships at a city region level. As part of the UK-Republic of Korea Innovation Twins Program, LCRCA’s deputy chief executive Richard McGuckin will visit South Korea’s second largest city Busan, which is also home to the world’s sixth largest port.

The program is aimed at helping UK and South Korean cities with complementary strengths to develop long-term research and innovation links, creating a pipeline of opportunities for bilateral trade and foreign direct investment.

As part of next week’s visit, McGuckin and the Mersey Tidal Power Project’s director will visit Sihwa Tidal Power Plant near Seoul, as well as meeting the chief executive officer of K-Water, which owns and operates the facility.  They will also meet senior officials from Busan and Seoul, as well as other prominent figures from academia and business.

The Mersey Tidal Power Project could generate enough clean, predictable energy to power up to one million homes and create thousands of jobs in its construction and operation, according to LCRCA.

Over the last two years, the authority has undertaken early technical work to understand the potential scope of the scheme, which could be up and running within a decade, playing a huge role in the region’s push to net zero carbon by 2040 – at least a decade ahead of national targets.

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McGuckin said: “This initial visit has the potential to increase our international trade with South Korea and to build on our complementary strengths in innovation in ways that will boost our economy for years to come.

“As well as creating links with Busan, a major port city with many similarities to our city region, we will also visit the world’s largest tidal power scheme at Sihwa Lake, as well as consolidating links with K-Water, the plant’s owner operator, which we made at COP26 in Glasgow.  The visit demonstrates the scale of our ambitions from the Liverpool City Region.”

The visit comes just two weeks after the launch of the Liverpool City Region Innovation Prospectus, which details how the city region’s world-leading expertise in infection control, materials chemistry and artificial intelligence, allied with emerging net-zero projects, would be a launchpad for future discoveries and investment. 

It also highlights the Liverpool City Region’s aim to invest 5% of its economy on research and development (R&D) by 2030 – nearly double the government’s UK target.

To remind, LCRCA officially launched a tender for design consultancy services related to the Mersey tidal range power project in March 2022.

The purpose of the tender is to procure a technical advisor and designer to advise on and further develop the conceptual design for a potential tidal range energy scheme in Merseyside.

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