Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram is pushing the scheme which could provide zero carbon electricity to a million homes by 2040. Tony McDonough reports
Experts from Liverpool law firm Weightmans are to join the team tasked with putting together a business case for the multi-billion pound Mersey Tidal Power Project.
Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram is pushing the scheme which, by using the tidal power of the River Mersey, could provide zero carbon electricity to a million homes by 2040.
He claims the project would generate up to four times the energy of all of the wind turbines in Liverpool Bay, which would be enough to power 500 football stadiums, or send an electric train around the world 3,554 times.
In May Mr Rotheram tasked leading consultancy Arup, as well as ABPmer, Grant Thornton and BECG, to put together a business case over the next 12 months which will be presented to the Government for approval. Weightmans, based in Old Hall Street in the city centre, is now joining that team as principal legal adviser.
The Government has yet to make any sort of commitment to the project but Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he was willing to consider it should his party win the next General Election.
Weightmans will work on national planning consents, environmental regulation and the project’s commercial strategy, which is expected to involve partnerships with the private sector and other third-party organisations.
A multidisciplinary team spread across the firm’s Liverpool headquarters and wider national network was appointed following a competitive tender process, which heard proposals from firms across the UK.
Stephen Johns, infrastructure partner and project lead at Weightmans said: “The provision of renewable infrastructure is now essential and it’s extremely rewarding to see the city region we’re headquartered in take the lead.
“We’ll draw on the expertise across our entire firm and experience in this field, including our recent work on the Wylfa Nuclear Power Station in Wales and the Liverpool2 Container Terminal, to support an innovative, ambitious proposal. We hope it will be a future blueprint for the benefits of clean energy and the potential success that regional devolution can bring.”
A spokesperson for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, added: “Weightmans combines a strong Liverpool pedigree with a UK-wide team and expertise in advising on projects of national significance and environmental regulation.
“We are confident that together we’ll lay the groundwork for a successful project that delivers a carbon-neutral future for the people of the Liverpool city region.”