Wave power firm calls in administrators

Renewable energy firm Aquamarine Power has called in administrators to manage the business and seek a sale or fresh investment.

Aquamarine, developer of the Oyster wave energy device, has called in adminstrators from BDO. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

The move comes just a month after the Edinburgh-based company received an €800,000 (£580,000) cash injection from the EU to improve the performance of its Oyster wave energy converter.

BDO business restructuring partners James Stephen and Graham Newton have been appointed joint administrators and will now take over the running of the firm, which will continue to trade with all 14 employees retained.

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Stephen said: “Whilst the company has seen many successes over the last few months, including securing an €800,000 grant from the EU as well as a £2 million contract from Wave Energy Scotland, the economic climate has significantly affected the business.

“The lack of private sector backing to supplement public funding support placed the company under cash flow strain and the directors concluded the best prospect of concluding a transaction was via the protection of administration. The company holds liquid funds which will allow this strategy to be pursued.”

He added: “We are continuing discussions with interested parties who were in discussions with the company prior to our appointment and are working closely with the Aquamarine Power board to engage with other potential purchasers. We welcome new enquiries.”

Aquamarine chief executive Paddy O’Kane said: “The team at Aquamarine Power has worked tirelessly over many years to design, build and demonstrate Oyster wave energy machines. During this time we have achieved a number of major milestones that have put our technology at the forefront of the industry.

“Oyster is the only wave technology to have proven it can operate in all ocean conditions and we have superb understanding of how well Oyster captures energy at sea. However, today’s news underscores the financial as well as technical challenge in bringing an entirely new form of energy generation to commercialisation. New private sector funding is required now to deliver our technology roadmap.”