Barrage consortium denies threat to local jobs
THE consortium behind the latest plans to build a barrage across the Severn has denied claims the scheme would cost jobs in the Bristol area.
A consortium of businesses called Hafren Power wants to build a £25 billion barrage from North Somerset to South Wales in a bid to harness tidal energy.
But the Bristol Port Company has claimed that the scheme would badly hit its business and lead to thousands of job losses in the area.
Hafren has been giving evidence to a Parliamentary committee about the scheme. The group has claimed the plans to build an 11-mile tidal power station across the Severn Estuary would generate five per cent of the UK's electricity.
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Tony Pryor, Hafren Power's chief executive, said: "We will deliver green, safe, secure and ultimately the cheapest electricity for Britain into the next century.
"The barrage will create 20,000 construction jobs and protect tens of thousands of properties from rising sea levels and storm surges.
"We believe this is a project whose time has come but it will not be at the expense of upstream port jobs, fish or birds."
He added: "We are committed to working with everyone in the months and years ahead to show how new technology and planning can mitigate risks. We are determined to get it right."