MP Urges Government To Press Ahead With Swansea Tidal Lagoon And To Build It With Port Talbot Steel

Evening Post

ABERAVON MP Stephen Kinnock has called on the UK Government to approve Swansea's Tidal Lagoon and ensure that steel used for the project is sourced from Tata.

Mr Kinnock made the call following the news that Tata Steel will cut 1,050 jobs in the UK - with 750 jobs being lost in Port Talbot alone.

The MP has urged the Government to "show some leadership" by giving a full commitment to using British steel for the £1 billion project in Swansea Bay.

Mr Kinnock has also called on the Government to commit to using steel sourced from Port Talbot. He said hundreds of jobs in Port Talbot depended on the Government backing the energy project.

If given the go-ahead, the project would see Swansea welcome the world's first man-made, green energy generating lagoon.

Mr Kinnock said: "The economic boost that the tidal lagoon will bring to the region is particularly needed now with this week's news of 750 job losses at Tata Steel in Port Talbot.

"The Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, part of which will be in my Aberavon constituency, has the potential to bring enormous benefits to the Swansea Bay area.

"It will create hundreds of much needed jobs locally through its construction and operation, and can also provide critical support to our beleaguered steel industry because of the massive steel turbines, each with a diameter of 7.35m, which will be at the heart of the project."

The Tidal Lagoon is expected the create around 2,000, but the project rests entirely on a subsidy deal between the Government and developer Tidal Lagoon Power.

Mr Kinnock said: "But the Government has dodged and delayed the decision. Every missed deadline sets the project back. Every day or week of delay costs months or years and it costs jobs.

"The Government's continued prevarication over agreeing a strike price with Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon is costing the lagoon project months, even years of delays, and is costing the Swansea Bay region vital jobs.

"With the ambitious new targets agreed at the Paris climate change talks recently, which the Prime Minister took such pride in, it is particularly crucial that his Government now commits to lagoon power.

"They were warned time and again of the consequences of their failure to act to support British steelmaking by taking measures against the dumping of cheap Chinese steel and by failing to address the industry's crippling energy costs.

"They must now act to protect the future of Swansea Bay," Mr Kinnock added.