The Aim-quoted business late last year celebrated the first electricity being generated at its ground-breaking MeyGen project in the Pentland Firth, and in January revealed that it had set up a new internal division, Atlantis Energy, to grow into non-tidal stream project development.
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Atlantis chief executive Tim Cornelius said that changes in the UK power market have opened up opportunities for the Edinburgh-based company.
He said that amid the “spectre” of Brexit, new large infrastructure projects will be needed to stimulate the UK economy, with Atlantis benefiting in this regard from the prolonged downturn in the oil and gas industry.
Cornelius said utility and private-equity firms are “consistently” seeking out the company, particularly after the Atlantis Energy announcement. “They want pipeline – they want new projects, they want investment opportunities,” he said.
“We are now to embark on a new strategy of looking at different ways to attract third-party capital to now build our portfolio.”
The aim is to become a junior infrastructure company, managing and developing such projects and enabling third-party developers to tap into the “unique” expertise and services Atlantis has developed by navigating the previously uncharted waters of tidal power.
“It’s a big, bold move now – it’s a step up from junior tidal power company into junior infrastructure company,” Cornelius said.
Atlantis will still manage and develop its own projects, using its own capital, he added, but now wants to diversify, after “getting the electrons flowing” at MeyGen, which has freed up a lot of internal capacity in the business.
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It is looking at making its debut in bond issuances and is considering different tax-effective platforms, having started discussions with advisers on such moves, which come on the back of “constant demand and interest” from retail investors.
“We’re really starting to open up Atlantis,” he said, adding that it is mulling corporate bonds open to institutional and retail investors, and could put £25 million to £50m in development capital to work “straight away”.
Cornelius also highlighted a strong pipeline for the business across the UK, having recently struck a partnership deal to develop a tidal scheme off the Lancashire coast, and opportunities in markets like France and Asia, but needs access to capital to take advantage of these. The firm recently signed a “cooperation agreement” with French specialist marine engineering company Innosea.