China enters UK with £300 mln contract for Swansea tidal

China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) has been named as preferred bidder for the £300 mln contract to provide marine works for the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon.

Under the terms of the contract, CHEC will be responsible for the construction of the 9.6 km long lagoon wall – including bund wall and coffer dam.

In addition, CHEC will be in charge of sourcing and transporting rock armour and materials to Swansea Bay, and managing all landside and marine crews associated with this element of the build, according to Tidal Lagoon Power (TLP), the developer behind Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project.

Approximately half of the contract value will be spent on a British workforce, local partners and a local supply chain, TLP’s press release reads.

Lin Yi Chong, President and CEO at China Harbour Engineering Company, said:

“CHEC has taken the strategic decision to enter the UK infrastructure investment and construction market.

“We have not invested directly into the Swansea Bay project but we made a proposal to do so and will seek opportunities to invest in similar projects in the UK and Europe.

“We will seek to grow our UK presence through significant investment into a subsidiary business and through a programme of UK infrastructure investment and construction.”

Furthermore, CHEC and TLP have agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding for the development of tidal lagoon power projects in Asia, particularly at sites along China’s 18.000 km of coastline.

Lin Yi Chong added: “As a state owned enterprise, we are working closely on the ‘Green China’ initiative with the central government and local authorities in China. We have invited TLP to work with us on the development of tidal lagoons in China and across Asia, and a Memorandum of Understanding will be signed shortly.”

CHEC has established a UK subsidiary company and has set out its vision to pursue a UK infrastructure investment programme over the next decade. CHEC’s investment strategy will include a focus on further tidal lagoon infrastructure projects in the UK, TLP’s press release reads.

Mark Shorrock, Chief Executive of Tidal Lagoon Power, said: “Having encouraged CHEC to bid this job and invest in Western European infrastructure projects by creating a British base, I was delighted, following an intensive competition, when my engineering colleagues recommended CHEC for our seminal Swansea Bay project.

“Further, I think China is taking a leadership position in tackling the threat of climate change and so a state owned enterprise makes a good partner when you wish to deploy multiple tidal lagoons quickly and cost effectively.”

Recently, Tidal Lagoon Power has named Alun Griffiths as preferred bidder for £25 mln supply contract for Swansea tidal, following the announcement of Laing O’Rourke as preferred bidder for £200 mln contract to deliver Swansea Bay tidal lagoon’s turbine house and sluice structure block.

China Harbour Engineering Company is a state-owned company operating in the fields of marine engineering, dredging and reclamation, road and bridge, railway, airport, and equipment assembly.

Tidal Lagoon Power is a UK-based tidal developer company that is currently developing six tidal lagoon projects, including Swansea Bay tidal lagoon.

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Image: Tidal Lagoon Power

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