Leith wave power firm goes into administration

Then UK Climate Change Minister Greg Barker on a visit to Pelamis Wave Power in Leith back in 2011. Picture: Jane Barlow
Then UK Climate Change Minister Greg Barker on a visit to Pelamis Wave Power in Leith back in 2011. Picture: Jane Barlow
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A MAJOR wave power company that has received £45 million in venture capital cash has gone into administration after failing to secure enough funding to develop its technology.

Leith-based Pelamis Wave Power (PWP) designs, manufactures and operates wave energy converters which it has been testing at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney.

The firm – which describes itself as “world’s most advanced wave energy technology company” – had been seeking a “strategic partner capable of taking the world’s most advanced wave energy technology into serial production”, according to its website.

It has been hoping to attract interest from BAE Systems, Rolls Royce and Weir, but ­others may also be canvassed, including Siemens of Germany, Caterpillar of the UK, Swiss firm ABB and Alstrom of France.

In July last year, energy giant E.ON announced it was pulling out of a partnership with Pelamis at the EMEC, citing delays in the progress of wave technology.

In statement, the firm, which employs 50 people, said: “The directors of Pelamis regret to announce that they have been unable to secure the additional funding required for further development of the company’s market-leading wave energy technology.

“As a result of this the board has reluctantly moved to appoint an administrator to assess the options for securing the future for the business and employees of Pelamis.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said it was a “matter of real regret” that the firm had gone into administration.

“Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government have been working closely with the company and its shareholders to try and find a way forward and help support the company in its current form,” he said.

“Early-stage technologies such as this can be difficult, but the development of wave energy has been blighted by the uncertainty facing the energy sector more widely, following reforms of the UK’s electricity market. Our belief in the future success of wave energy is undiminished.”

Gina Hanrahan, climate and energy policy officer at WWF Scotland, said: “It’s a real shame to see Pelamis put into administration. Marine renewables have the potential to play an important role in our future electricity mix, helping to cut climate emissions and deliver investment and jobs around our coastline. Harnessing the power of the waves is a challenge we must rise to if we’re to wean ourselves off fossil fuels.”