Severn Barrage project between Brean and Wales steps closer
possibility of a Severn Barrage being built between Wales and
Brean, near Burnham-On-Sea, took a major step forward this week
with the announcement that five major global companies have been
signed up to work on the £25bn project.
Power, the consortium behind proposals to build the 11-mile power-generating
barrage, announced details of the five firms working with it which
cover engineering, construction, project management and logistics.
project could create an estimated 50,000 jobs and generate around
5% of the electricity the UK needs if it gets the go-ahead - but
there remain deep concerns by environmental and tourism groups
plus local residents.
this year, the Government indicated it wanted to see a more substantial
business case before deciding whether to back the idea of a barrage,
which would be funded entirely from private sources.
five firms - Arup, Bechtel, DHL, Mott MacDonald and URS - are
currently assessing what is needed to manage the approvals and
work for the nine-year build of the project.
Power Chief Executive Tony Pryor said this week: "Government
has an open mind on our proposal and we are working hard to provide
further details of construction, environmental and business impacts
companies have successful track records in delivering large infrastructure
projects and are bringing considerable expertise and momentum
to the process."
added: "As part of the energy mix, tidal power is greatly
under-utilised. As a sustainable energy source the Severn estuary
barrage will help the UK meet its renewable energy requirements.
The engineering could also become the standard for schemes elsewhere
in the world."
approval is needed for the proposal, together with an agreement
to support the electricity price in the first 30 years.
groups are opposed to the plan and say a barrage would damage
wildlife in and around the Severn estuary.
of the Earth director Gareth Clubb said this week: "Regardless
of how big the companies involved are, the sums just don't add
up. You can have the biggest companies in the world working on
it but the economics of the project don't work so I don't see
it being given the go-ahead."