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Mersey Barrage

Volume 177: debated on Monday 23 July 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what information he has on the current status of the Mersey barrage project.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the construction of the Mersey barrage.

I am pleased to welcome the recent proposal for a third stage of feasibility studies for a tidal energy barrage by the Mersey Barrage Company, the details of which are now being considered by my Department. A Government contribution of up to £1·5 million, anticipated to be 50 per cent. of the study costs, will be made available subject to satisfactory contractual negotiations.I have also established an interdepartmental ministerial committee, under my chairmanship, which will meet for the first time later this week, to consider the wider, non-energy and regional implications of the proposed barrage. The Mersey barrage is a major renewable energy project, which could provide over a half of 1 per cent. of the United Kingdom's present electricity needs.