(Title Image: Wales Online)
A Freedom of Information request (pdf), confirms the Welsh Government were willing to consider an equity or loan investment of up to £200million in order for the now-scrapped Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project to go ahead.
In the letter dated 5th June 2018 – about 3 weeks before the project was turned down in London – the First Minister told UK Business, Energy and Industry Secretary, Greg Clark, that the offer could form part of a joint Wales-UK package, subject to the UK Government agreeing a similar “strike price” to Hinkley Point C (£92.50 per MWh for 35 years).
The First Minister hoped further discussion would “put an end to the ongoing uncertainty”. The Secretary of State for Wales was also copied in.
Further correspondence between the Welsh and UK governments, civil servants as well as with Swansea Tidal Lagoon Ltd, was deemed exempt from disclosure for reasons that might prejudice inter-governmental relations as well as commercial sensitivity.
The Lagoon is also still considered, by the Welsh Government, to be “live” as a possible long-term project, with the UK Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, suggesting it could form a key part of energy policy if Labour win the next UK General Election.