Energy firm Atlantis rekindles purchase of GHR

Sustainable energy specialist Simec Atlantis Energy has revived its plan to acquire Perth-based Green Highland Renewables (GHR) – having in the summer said it was no longer going ahead as planned.

The tidal power firm said the restructured deal 'is the right outcome for Atlantis'. Picture: contributed.
The tidal power firm said the restructured deal 'is the right outcome for Atlantis'. Picture: contributed.

In one of a string of announcements today, Atlantis said it is snapping up the GHR project development, asset management, operation and maintenance business from Simec Energy for the nominal sum of £1.

Atlantis, which is behind the MeyGen tidal project in the Pentland Firth and has offices in Edinburgh’s Fountainbridge, deemed GHR “a profitable business with high growth prospects”.

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It added: “GHR has consented more than 65 hydro schemes, built more than 45 hydro schemes and provides operation and maintenance services for more than 45 hydro schemes in the UK.”

Australian-born Cornelius became Atlantis chief executive in 2006. Picture: Jon Savage.

Atlantis chief executive Tim Cornelius said: “We are building a highly experienced energy development and asset management team within Atlantis and GHR brings vast experience in project feasibility analysis, design, consenting, construction management, operations and maintenance and asset enhancement and optimisation.”

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Cornelius said when the proposed deal was first mooted a year ago that it was “one of the most exciting developments in the recent history of Atlantis”, with the firm later raising £5 million to help fund the move.

But in June the business said it had been decided that an alternative transaction structure in relation to GHR “would be in the interests of shareholders”.

Right outcome

Cornelius said today: “This restructured transaction is the right outcome for Atlantis. It provides us with more near-term cash to deploy on our flagship Uskmouth and MeyGen projects which will deliver the largest possible returns for investors.

“We have acquired a world class, cash flow positive, profitable hydro development, consulting and [operations and maintenance] business which we will integrate with our existing engineering services business in Scotland to create one of the most experienced project development teams in the UK. It will allow us to focus on high margin, development opportunities such as the Uskmouth conversion project where we can deliver enhanced shareholder returns.”

Atlantis said in a separate filing that it has chosen Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Europe to carry out the design and development of the combustion system for its Wales-based Uskmouth Power Station Conversion Project that it owns and operates. It said the move is a step towards the project securing project finance.

The firm in a third announcement said it is to supply tidal generation equipment and offshore construction services, in an “industry first”, to Japan’s Kyuden Mirai Energy for a demonstration project in the Asian country.

Cornelius said: “Simec Atlantis has been at the forefront of marine energy for the past decade… this is our largest awarded export contract to date and our partnership with Kyuden Mirai Energy is representative of the leadership position Simec Atlantis has taken in exporting Scottish know-how and expertise into new international markets.”