Energy roundup

Number of people out of work in the period from January to March fell to 1.83M, down 35,000 on the previous quarter and the lowest for seven years, according to the Office for National Statistics. The total number in work rose to 31.1M. Average pay excluding boneuses rose by 2.2% compared with a year ago. But the Bank of England has cut its growth forecast from 2.9% to 2.5% for 2015 and from 2.9% to 2.6% for next year.

Magnox has said it plans to cut up to 1,600 jobs across 12 of its nuclear power sites by September 2016. Eleven of the plants have already stopped generating power, while the plant at Wylfa on Anglesey in North Wales is due to close next year.

New energy secretary Amber Rudd has said in an interview with the Sunday Times that no more onshore wind farms will be given the go ahead unless they have the support of local people.  The new powers would be in next week’s Queen’s Speech. She also said that the new Conservative Government would try to speed up extraction of shale gas and loosen rules so it could be extracted from under national parks. 

Areva, the French firm charged with designing Britain's Hinkley Point, has received a €2bn approach for its reactor business from EDF. The French government owns 84pc of EDF and 87 per cent of Areva and will have the final say on whether any deal will pass.

Laing O’Rourke has been named as preferred bidder for the £200M contract to deliver Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon’s 410 metre turbine house and sluice structure block.  Arup is the contractor’s lead design and engineering partner for the contract.

The China Harbour Engineering Company has been awarded the largest deal to date on the £1bn Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon. It is preferred bidder for a £300M marine works package that will include the construction of the six mile lagoon wall in Swansea Bay. The project finds out if it has planning approval next week.