Hafren Power

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Hafren Power Ltd.
Industry Renewable energy
Founded London, UK (26 August 2010 (2010-08-26))
Defunct 2014
Headquarters London, UK
Key people
Website as archived in June 2013[7]

Hafren Power (formerly Corlan Hafren) was a tidal energy business formed to promote construction of a Severn Barrage between Wales and England.


The company was established in 2010[1] as a consortium of companies forming a tidal energy business.[8] Its founders included engineering and construction companies,[9][10] intending to promote the Severn Barrage.[10] It was originally named Corlan Hafren,[3] which means Severn Group in Welsh.[11] As of August 2012 it comprises four companies, Arup,[12] Mott MacDonald,[12][13][14] Halcrow[12][14] and architects Marks Barfield.[12][14] Halcrow is lead company.[15] Associated companies and persons involved in the project include Atkins, Rolls-Royce,[4] accountants KPMG[11][16] and Roger Falconer.[11]

Journalist Christopher Booker of The Sunday Telegraph noted in August 2012 that former Conservative environment secretary John Gummer is a former director of the company. As of August 2012 one sixth of shares were held by Sancroft International, which is owned by the Gummer family.[2]

The House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Select Committee examined Hafren Power's proposal in 2013, coming to the conclusion:

Although construction of the barrage would be privately financed, Government support would be required for approximately thirty years through Contracts for Difference (CfD) or a similar mechanism. The strike price required by Hafren Power is unknown, but the ability of the project to compete with other low-carbon forms of energy is in doubt. A high strike price risks swamping the Levy Control Framework (LCF), while a strike price below £100/MWh appears unlikely to ensure the project’s economic viability.

Hafren Power have failed to overcome the serious environmental concerns that have been raised. Further research, data and modelling are needed before environmental impacts can be determined with any certainty – in particular regarding fluvial flood risk, intertidal habitats and impact to fish. The need for compensatory habitat on an unprecedented scale casts doubt on whether the project could achieve compliance with the EU Habitats Directive.[17]

In 2013 and 2014 several executives and the CEO resigned.[18] Shortly after, Wales Online reported Hafren Power as defunct.[19]

Severn Barrage[edit]

In 2010 the company revived proposals for the Severn Barrage[6] from Cardiff to Weston-super-Mare[20] and in 2011 it presented them to the Department of Energy and Climate Change.[21] Former shadow Welsh Secretary Peter Hain and company representatives met with Prime Minister David Cameron in July 2012 to promote the project.[21]

The company said that the project will not require public funding and expected to attract investment from venture capital firms and pension funds.[16] It had sought funding from sovereign wealth funds,[3] stating that expressions of interest have been received from such funds and other investors in Kuwait, Qatar,[22] the UK[23] and elsewhere.[22]

Hafren Power stated the scheme would require £25 billion of capital investment, and estimated power costs were about £160 per MWh for the first 30 years, and £20 per MWh thereafter.[17]


  1. ^ a b "£20bn Severn barrage 'can be built with private cash'". Thisisbath. Northcliffe Media. 8 November 2010. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Booker, Christopher (25 Aug 2012). "The tangled tale of Lord Deben and a dodgy Severn barrage". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c Bakewell, Sally (20 August 2012). "U.K.’s $39 Billion Severn Tidal Power Seeks Sovereign Investors". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  4. ^ a b OConnell, Dominic (27 March 2011). "Severn barrage awaits the right time and tide". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  5. ^ "PROFILE- A balance of power". Central Government Issue 23. publicservice.co.uk. 2 November 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "Firm says Severn barrage plan could be resurrected". BBC News. 22 October 2010. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  7. ^ "Hafren Power". Hafren Power. Archived from the original on 1 June 2013. 
  8. ^ "Energy & Climate Change Committee satisfied Lord Deben's Veolia Water interest no barrier to chairmanship". Utility Week. Faversham House Group. 11 September 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  9. ^ Hickman, Leo (20 August 2012). "Abandoned Severn tidal power project to be reconsidered". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  10. ^ a b Sauvebois, Marion (10 September 2012). "Private firm could pick up plans for barrage across River Severn". Gazetteseries. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  11. ^ a b c Steiner-Dicks, K (15 March 2011). "Severn Barrage Consortium: the tidal tug-of-war is still on". Tidal Today. FC Business Intelligence. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  12. ^ a b c d "UK focus on wind and nuclear should not harm tidal energy development, says expert". newenergyworldnetwork. New Energy World Network. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  13. ^ "August’s top stories: Hurricane Isaac causes blackouts as US halts nuclear plans". Cogeneration & On-Site Power Production. PennWell. 5 September 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  14. ^ a b c The Severn Barrage, Regional Vision, October 2012, Corlan Hafren
  15. ^ Snieckus, Darius (2 November 2011). "Huge tidal deployment mooted for $80bn Thames Hub scheme". Recharge. NHST Media Group. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  16. ^ a b Harris, Stephen (18 October 2010). "Rejection of Severn tidal barrage provokes response". The Engineer. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  17. ^ a b "A Severn Barrage?". Energy and Climate Change — Second Report. Parliament UK. HC 194. Retrieved 21 April 2014. 
  18. ^ Brian Meechan (26 March 2014). "Severn Barrage: Chief quits to set up rival firm". BBC. Retrieved 3 October 2015. 
  19. ^ "Severn Barrage backers close in on 10m initial fundraising target". Wales Online. 2 April 2014. Retrieved 3 October 2015. 
  20. ^ Hutchinson, Clare (19 October 2010). "'Real cost' of Severn Barrage £34bn". WalesOnline. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  21. ^ a b "£30 billion plans for Severn barrage back in the spotlight". Penarth Times. 23 August 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  22. ^ a b Chorley, Matt (19 August 2012). "No 10 asks ministers: Can we now support £30bn Severn barrage?". The Independent. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  23. ^ "Severn Barrage tidal energy consortium in talks with private investors". NewNet. New Energy World Network. Retrieved 18 September 2012.