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Five engineering firms to advise on £25bn Severn Barrage

Five engineering giants are working with Hafren Power on its proposed £25bn Severn Barrage.

Hafren Power has announced that Arup, Bechtel, DHL, Mott MacDonald and URS have signed up to the 18km electricity generating barrage.

The engineering firms are assessing the delivery model needed to manage the consent and environmental approval processes and the nine-year build of the biggest British infrastructure project since the Channel Tunnel.

Hafren Power chief executive Tony Pryor, said: “Government has an open mind on our proposal and we are working hard to provide further details of construction, environmental and business impacts and mitigation. These companies have successful track records in delivering large infrastructure projects and are bringing considerable expertise and momentum to the process.”

He 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.”

The controversial plans have received opposition from some MPs and environmental groups, but energy secretary Ed Davey has insisted the government will examine submitted proposals.

The proposed barrage, between Brean in England and Lavernock Point in Wales, will generate on the ebb and flood of the second largest tidal range in the world at 14 metres – an energy source capable of meeting some 5 per cent of the UK’s annual electricity needs.

Its 1,026 turbines will generate 6.5GW, making it one of the biggest power stations in the world. It has a minimum lifespan of 120 years. Hafren Power says its whole-life cost is lower than any known renewable or fossil fuel source.

Government approval is needed for the proposal, together with an agreement to support the electricity price in the first 30 years, in line with the consumer support granted to other low-carbon energy generators.

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