Simec Atlantis posts £9m loss but forecasts growth surge

Atlantis chief executive Tim Cornelius predicts 'meaningful cashflows'. Picture: Jon Savage.
Atlantis chief executive Tim Cornelius predicts 'meaningful cashflows'. Picture: Jon Savage.
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Simec Atlantis Energy, the Edinburgh-based energy pioneer behind the MeyGen tidal project in the Pentland Firth, has reported a loss in its interim results ahead of anticipated “rapid growth” in the coming years.

The group posted a loss before tax of £9.1 million for the six months to the end of June, up from a loss of £3.2m for the same period in 2017, following a period of investment and transformation.

The firm, formerly known as Atlantis Resources, unveiled total equity of £134.4m, an increase of more than £74m from 2017, as a result of the acquisition of Simec Uskmouth Power (SUP) in June and several rounds of equity fundraising, including a round in May worth £20m.

It posted revenue for the period of £1.3m, which it said was “mainly driven by MeyGen operations”.

Atlantis listed completion of the construction phase at MeyGen, which has now exported more than eight gigawatt hours of energy to the grid, and the SUP acquisition among its key operational highlights.

It expects the MeyGen project to return to full capacity in the fourth quarter, following maintenance works to two of the four turbines, with chief executive Tim Cornelius looking forward to “a very productive winter”.

Cornelius said the group’s clean energy projects, such as its flagship conversion of a coal-fired power plant at Uskmouth, Wales, to run on 100 per cent waste material, would act as a blueprint for future developments.

He said: “The conversion process [at Uskmouth] is progressing well and we are on track to have first power generation from the converted plant in 2020, which will immediately deliver meaningful operational cashflows.”

He predicted the MeyGen’s new two-megawatt tidal power turbine, the world’s largest single rotor system, would “open up new project development opportunities in the UK, France, Channel Islands, South Korea, Japan and China, as costs reduce and reliability continues to improve”.

Cornelius added: “The possibility of future acquisitions of Simec hydro, storage, onshore wind and bio-fuel projects puts us on a trajectory of rapid growth, with the ambition of transitioning swiftly into a cash generative, growth company of scale.”

Adam Forsyth, alternative energy and resource research efficiency analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald Europe, said: “The Atlantis interim numbers themselves do not reflect the very major changes in the company and, in particular, do not reflect the early work or the eventual potential of the 220 megawatt Uskmouth waste to energy project.

“However, there has been progress on this project and the company continues to move towards its transformation into a major global renewable energy provider.”