The Welsh Government must have a ‘contingency plan’ if the UK Government decides against funding the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, according to Plaid Cymru.
Mid and West Wales AM and shadow cabinet spokesperson for energy Simon Thomas and Swansea-based AM Dr. Dai Lloyd both today asked the Welsh Government to make a statement on what action it has taken over recent days in response to suggestions that the UK Government is set to throw out the plans this week.
The First Minister today revealed he had offered £200m to the UK Government to get the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project off the ground – an offer dismissed by a UK Government source as ‘not touching the sides’.
Mid and West Wales AM and shadow cabinet spokesperson for energy Simon Thomas said,
“The UK Government originally said that they were behind the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon and now they’ve performed a shameful U-Turn. However, it is not appropriate to for both the UK Government and the Welsh Government to be publicly bargaining over such an important and significant project.
I have been calling on the Welsh Government for months now to consider equity in the company. The Labour Welsh Government must produce a Plan B in the possibility that Westminster fails Wales yet again.”
Dr Dai Lloyd AM called on the Leader of the House, Julie James AM to bring forward an urgent statement on the matter and said,
“Given that this is of such strategic importance to Swansea and the rest of Wales, it is vital that the Welsh Government outlines clearly what it has done in recent days to respond to speculation that the scheme is floundering. Has the Welsh Government been trying to facilitate meetings with the UK Government and the developers for example?
“We also need to know what contingency plans the Welsh Government has in place, and whether it is prepared to look at innovative models of delivering this scheme.
The Welsh Government could look to use their capital borrowing powers to invest in the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon for example, instead of the expensive black route for the M4 relief road. By setting up a publicly owned Welsh energy company it could bring this project alive themselves. The Welsh Government needs to show how committed it is to delivering this scheme. If the UK Government does decide to betray Wales, then we need to think of ways in which we can deliver it without them.”