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Tidal Power: River Severn

Volume 475: debated on Thursday 15 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the criteria are for the selection of companies undertaking feasibility studies for the Severn Tidal Power project. (204522)

To date, two major contracts have been awarded under the Severn Tidal Power feasibility study.

These are firstly to provide a managed service for a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) of proposals for tidal power development in the Severn estuary, and secondly to provide advice on finance and ownership issues in relation to delivering a project to generate tidal power from the Severn estuary. The contracts were awarded following a competitive tender process using Office for Government Commerce framework agreements.

Tenders for the SEA contract were assessed according to the value for money offered which was determined according to:

(a) technical merit i.e. demonstration that the requirements of the service are fully understood and that the approach offered by the supplier would meet the requirements;

(b) relevant experience i.e. demonstration that the supplier has undertaken such work successfully in the previous five years and that the supplier has a strong team with the required technical, financial and management expertise and capabilities; and

(c) overall price.

The panel also paid particular attention to the:

quality of management of the organisation;

degree of innovation, and

independence of the contractor and ensuring that there is no conflict of interest.

Tenders for the contract to provide advice on finance and ownership issues were assessed according to:

(a) the level of understanding of the issues around tidal power development, UK electricity markets, corporate and public sector finance, and major infrastructure projects investment—in particular the experience and ability to advise on and create novel structures;

(b) the quality of the staff involved and their previous relevant experience;

(c) the quality of management of the organisation and its track record in having carried out similar work;

(d) innovative ideas, methodologies or activities that help to maximise the prospects for achieving the aims and objectives of the study efficiently and effectively;

(e) the independence of the contractor and ensuring that there is no conflict of interest; and

(f) cost and value for money.