Friday, April 15, 2016

British steel - cost of tidal power

Some press reports are suggesting that Liberty Commodities’ plan for Port Talbot is to use electric arc furnaces (rather than blast furnace steelmaking), with the electric power coming from the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon.

Is this credible?

The UK’s cost of power at ~9p per kWh is already almost double that of continental Europe, where is it ~5p per kWh. Yet the cost of power from the Swansea tidal scheme is said to be several times above the normal wholesale price electricity. See

If this is so, investment in electric arc furnaces at Port Talbot with use of tidal power cannot lead to a viable long-term solution for steel production in south Wales.

For further reports on the future of steelmaking in the UK, visit

Andrzej M Kotas

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