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Scottish Wave Energy Company Aquamarine Power Enters Administration

Reviewed: 30th October 2015

A company whose business is based around the development of wave energy technologies has entered administration after struggling to attract enough financial backing to stay afloat.

Aquamarine Power, which is based in Edinburgh, has been testing the wave energy generators it calls ‘Oyster’ machines on the Orkney Islands but has been beset by financial difficulties in recent months.

A lack of private investors interested in backing the company’s projects is reported to have been at the root of the problems Aquamarine Power has been facing.

Bosses at the business have said that they’ve taken the decision to enter administration voluntarily while they try to find investors to support their renewable energy endeavours.

“The team at Aquamarine Power has worked tirelessly over many years to design, build and demonstrate Oyster wave energy machines,” said Paddy O’Kane, Aquamarine Power’s chief executive.

“During this time we have achieved a number of major milestones that have put our technology at the forefront of the industry. However, today’s news underscores the financial as well as technical challenge in bringing an entirely new form of energy generation to commercialisation.”

For now at least the company’s 14 employees are to be retained as directors search for new private sector financial backers.

Significant public sector support has already been given to Aquamarine Power, with the company having received £580,000 as a grant from the European Union. It has also benefitted from a £2 million contract signed with the government-backed Wave Energy Scotland enterprise initiative.

However, as its newly-appointed administrator James Stephen explained in a statement: “The lack of private-sector backing to supplement public funding support placed the company under cashflow strain and the directors concluded the best prospect of concluding a transaction was via the protection of administration.”

“The news [of Aquamarine’s entry into administration] adds weight to the case for action to support the development of wave energy, following similar announcements from other leading companies in the sector such as Pelamis,” said Raf Smith from the industry body RenewableUK.

Scotland’s energy minister Fergus Ewing welcomed the news that while the company is to enter administration, plans are in place for it to continue trading and for new private investment to be sought. Our extensive office network comprises 75 offices across the UK with a partner-led service offering immediate director advice and support.

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