Monday, 22 March 2010

Pelamis may float

The Edinburgh-based tidal energy manufacturer is considering a float as the wave and tidal energy industry booms
Jane Bradley

The turbine maker Pelamis Wave Power is considering a possible flotation to fund expansion as the wave and tidal energy industry takes to the water.
The Edinburgh-based company, which makes the snake-like wave energy converter, needs to raise up to £50m to fund the next stage of its development, Neels Kriek, the chief executive, said.
Last week, the Crown Estate announced the successful bidders for the world’s first wind and tidal energy commercial leasing round. Ten wave and tidal energy sites will be created around the Orkney islands and the Pentland Firth.
Pelamis is behind the technology to be used at three sites — Marwick Head, West Orkney South and Armadale, which are expected to be running by 2020.
Pelamis’s 180m-long device writhes on the surface of the water. The wave-power drives hydraulic motors which, in turn, power generators.
The company has 16 shareholders, ranging from the global energy firm Statoil Hydro to Swiss venture capitalist Emerald Technology Ventures, and Scottish Enterprise.
Over the past 10 years, a range of investors have put in £45m for research and development. Krieks said that Pelamis’s cash position was strong enough for the next 18 months, but the company would need to fund expansion in 2012.
“We are in talks with our shareholders over the best way to raise funds. A flotation is something we will consider,” said Krieks.
The company, which plans to double its workforce to about 150 by 2020, already has three units at the Agu├žadoura wave farm off northern Portugal, and is developing a 26-unit farm at a site in Shetland in partnership with energy firm Vattenfall.