The Gupta family which have been investing heavily in UK energy and industrial assets over recent months, have committed to an eight-figure investment over time in the development of tidal lagoon power plant 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, particularly steel.
The past year has seen SIMEC and sister company, Liberty House, acquire extensive power generation, steel production and engineering capacity across the UK, including the 393megawatt Uskmouth Power Station at Newport.
The investment agreed gives Gupta interests a substantial stake in Tidal Lagoon Plc, a holding company established by Tidal Lagoon Power Ltd to finance the development of full-scale tidal lagoons in UK and international waters.
The world-first Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon will open up for the UK the option of delivering a programme of larger lagoons. Tidal Lagoon Power 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 4,000MW of lagoon power and £10 billion of capital investment.
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.
In November, Prime Ministers Cameron and Modi signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen cooperation in energy, including clean energy, while, earlier this month, India joined the UK in the International Energy Agency’s Ocean Energy Systems intergovernmental collaboration programme.
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 at the invitation of the Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, whose Government has expressed great interest in the scope for tidal lagoons in the state.