InfraRed Joins Prudential to Invest in U.K. Tidal-Lagoon Power

InfraRed Capital Partners Ltd. will join Prudential Plc, the largest U.K. insurer by market value, to invest in a 1 billion-pound ($1.5 billion) tidal-lagoon power plant in Wales.

InfraRed’s investment will equal that of Prudential, it said in an e-mailed statement Thursday without disclosing the amount. Prudential in October said it may invest as much as 100 million pounds. The facility in Swansea Bay, still awaiting planning consent, would have a capacity of 320 megawatts, enough to supply more than 155,000 homes, according to the statement.

The plant will “make a material contribution toward both the local economy in south Wales and the long-term stability of sustainable energy supply in the U.K.,” said InfraRed Chief Executive Officer Werner von Guionneau. The plant will exploit an estuary with the world’s second-highest tidal range -- the difference between high and low tide, he said.

Tidal lagoons are areas of water separated from the rest of the sea. In a tidal-power plant, water is trapped and released from the lagoon through turbines, considered to be less damaging to the environment than tidal barrages. The U.K. in 2013 rejected plans for a barrage across the Severn River.

The project is being developed by Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay Plc. Construction should start later this year and it’s expected to begin working in 2018 with a 120-year life. Good Energy Plc, a British renewable power supplier, in May invested 500,000 pounds in Tidal Lagoon.

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