Irish marine tidal turbine company to be taken over by French naval defence company

January 29th, 2013 by DCNS

OpenHydro's 16 metre diameter open-centre tidal turbine in the transport to take it to the Paimpol–Bréhat tidal farm at Île-de-Bréhat off the coast of Brittany, France on 24 August 2011. (click image to expand - Photo by Fred Tanneau/DCNS and courtesy of OpenHydro)

DCNS is going to increase its holding in the capital of OpenHydro from 11% to 59.7%, through an acquisition of shares from the current shareholders and an increase in capital restricted to the Group, to take control of the Irish business specialising in marine tidal turbines.

This operation is part of DCNS’ growth plan aiming to double its sales between 2010 and 2020.

This investment is evidence of the confidence and commitment of DCNS to the development of OpenHydro.

OpenHydro will retain its team and its brand, and will benefit from the experience and the competencies of DCNS.

Tidal energy is predictable and preserves the visual and ecological environment. The worldwide tidal energy market represents an exploitable power of at least 90 GW, the equivalent of some sixty EPR nuclear reactors.

Several tens of thousands of turbines are expected to be installed eventually worldwide.

The ambition of DCNS is to achieve annual sales of at least €1 billion by 2025 in the tidal energy market.

OpenHydro, which was founded in 2004, has developed an innovative turbine capable of producing electricity at competitive prices.

OpenHydro is a technological and commercial leader in the tidal energy market, where it has strong growth potential.

The company has formed commercial partnerships with leading electricity suppliers in order to develop some of the world’s best tidal sites. It is trialling turbines in various areas in Europe and in North America. Based in Dublin and Greenore (Ireland), OpenHydro has 90 employees. It is now working, for example, with EDF on the installation of turbines at Paimpol-Bréhat (Brittany) and with SSE Renewables to install turbines in the Pentland Firth (Scotland).

The expansion of OpenHydro will foster an industrial development of regions located close to the world’s major areas of tidal resource.

The characteristics of marine turbines are such that they must be assembled and maintained as close as possible to the areas where they are operated.

Industrial facilities will be established in the regions where OpenHydro will be prime contractor for turbine farms.

OpenHydro 16 metre diameter open centre tidal turbine being readied for deployment at the Paimpol-Bréhat tidal demonstration farm off Île-de-Bréhat near Paimpol, France (click image to expand - image courtesy of OpenHydro)

These developments will create wealth and jobs for the industrial areas concerned.

This should be the case, for example, in Cherbourg near the Raz Blanchard (Race of Alderney), around the Bay of Fundy in Canada and County Antrim in Northern Ireland.

Patrick Boissier, Chairman & CEO of DCNS, said “this operation is a practical implementation of our ambition in marine renewable energy, which is one of DCNS’ development priorities for the coming decades.”

“Taking control of a start-up in another country and in the energy sector demonstrates the magnitude of the transformation put into effect by our Group since the launch of our growth plan three years ago.”

“We are excited that we will soon see the teams from OpenHydro join DCNS to contribute with us to sustainably developing the oceans’ potential,” he said.

James Ives, CEO of OpenHydro, said “the acquisition of OpenHydro by DCNS bears witness to the remarkable work accomplished by our team since 2004 and to the confidence of DCNS in our future.”

“We share with DCNS a passion for the sea and for leading-edge technology. DCNS brings us deep knowledge of the marine environment, its industrial experience and the resources necessary for our development.”

“We are proud and excited to continue our entrepreneurial adventure as part of one of the world’s leading groups,” he said.

The acquisition of OpenHydro by DCNS is subject to the applicable statutory authorisations, and should become effective during the first half of 2013.

Benefiting from its 400 years of experience in shipbuilding and its knowledge of the marine environment, DCNS has the ambition of being a world leader in marine renewable energy and developing a dedicated industrial segment.

The Group is investing in four technologies: Tidal energy, floating wind turbines, wave energy, and ocean thermal energy.


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