Gupta family’s investment of around £10m will finance development of the technology in the UK and India
The development of tidal lagoon schemes has received a boost with a commitment of millions of pounds to the technology in the UK and India.
The investment by the Gupta family, thought to be around £10m, will give it a substantial stake in Tidal Lagoon Plc, a holding company set up to finance the development of full-scale tidal lagoons to generate clean power in the UK and abroad.
It comes as Tidal Lagoon Power Ltd, which set up Tidal Lagoon Plc, awaits a government decision on subsidies for the world’s first lagoon project in Swansea Bay, a proof-of-concept scheme to harness renewable energy from the power of the tides.
Last month, the prime minister, David Cameron, said his enthusiasm for tidal lagoon technology was “reduced” by the costs.
But Tidal Lagoon Power argues the first project in Swansea Bay would open the way for five other schemes around the coast, with lower costs due to economies of scale, that could meet 8% of the UK’s electricity demand for 120 years.
Proposed schemes at Cardiff and Newport would provide around 4GW of power capacity and generate £10bn of capital investment, the company said.
The move by the Gupta family is part of a wider strategy by its global energy and commodities company SIMEC to develop renewable energy worldwide, and use innovative technologies to provide low-cost power to energy-intensive industries including steel.
Gupta family representative Sanjeev Gupta 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.”
The move will also lead to the creation of a joint venture between SIMEC and Tidal Lagoon Power to develop large-scale tidal lagoons in India, with the first feasibility studies carried out in the Gulf of Khambhat, Gujurat, in western India.