ENERGY Firm Voith Hydro has announced plans to axe its operations based in Inverness where 18 people are employed.
A company spokesman said: “Voith Hydro is planning to reorganise the wave power technology within its Ocean Energy Division and to pool the Know-How at the company’s engineering centre in Heidenheim, Germany.
“Within the course of this reorganization it is intended to shut down the location in Inverness. The plans affect 18 local employees.
“It is planned to shut down our location in Inverness. There are no further ongoing ventures with regard to Wave Power activities in Scotland.
“The projects which we have put in practice have shown that this technology works. What is missing is a positive investment climate for wave power globally.
“ Voith will re-intensify its wave power station activities as soon as the market situation is appropriate and such operations appear commercially beneficial.
“Voith will make every attempt to find socially acceptable solutions for all employees. We are currently talking to our employees, in order to discuss further action. Please understand that we are therefore unable to provide any further details.”
Voith has developed oscillating water column (OWC) technology since 2005, made it market-ready and achieved high acclaim with the reference plants Limpet on the Scottish Hebrides and Mutriku in Northern Spain - the world’s first commercial wave power station.
The projects implemented so far have demonstrated that electricity generation from wave power plants is technically viable and that it can contribute to the renewable energy supply.
The company currently pursues a new project in France, which is to be developed in cooperation with GDF Suez. Voith recently signed a memorandum of understanding for an industrial partnership, in order to implement one of the first commercial turbine farms in the world for the commercial utilization of tidal currents.