The Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project has launched a tender for the design and construction of a new £22 million turbine manufacturing and pre-assembly plant.

The 100m long unit will receive major turbine components from manufacturers, with all machining and pre-assembly of the 16 turbines required taking place on site. The facility will initially employ up to 100 skilled workers, with an additional 150 project workers.

The latest contracts follow a competitive tender of potential locations for the plant last year.

The Swansea Bay tidal lagoon has been named as a pathfinder project for full-scale UK and international tidal lagoons. Negotiations for a 'contract for difference' continue from 2015 as the UK government's review of the technology looks into its feasibility. It is expected to complete during this autumn.

Developers of the project say they have received a new report that finds the potential value of the tidal lagoon sector in the UK industry to be £17 billion for turbines and generators made in Britain, £24 billion for domestic market turbine housings and £30 billion for exports to international tidal lagoon markets. The report also highlights the immediate opportunity for the UK’s engineering, construction, steel and manufacturing industries to win contracts totalling over £800 million at Swansea Bay – and over £6 billion for the first project to employ its template at full-scale in Cardiff.

Swansea Bay is expected to have a lifespan of 120 years with an installed capacity of 320 MW. Tidal Lagoon Power is planning a fleet of six lagoons that together would meet 8% of UK electricity demand.