The first company to establish a permanent shore-based facility at Orkney's new marine renewables base has secured its first client – the European Marine Energy Centre.

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International maritime company Fendercare Marine is providing secure storage for multi-kilometre stock of seabed power cable for EMEC, which operates the world’s first offshore test facilities for wave and tidal energy technologies.

Orkney Islands Council (OIC) is carrying out a comprehensive refurbishment of the former naval base at Lyness on the island of Hoy – giving it a new lease of life as a multi-purpose centre for the rapidly evolving marine renewables industry.

Fendercare is establishing a long-term presence at Lyness and will provide support services for a range of marine energy operations, including the deployment and mooring of wave and tidal devices.

Stan Groundwater, the company’s general manager in Orkney, said: “With the islands in the global vanguard of this new industry, we’re making a multi-million pound investment over the course of the project.

“Our aim is to ensure developers and installers of marine devices can easily access expert services and save a good deal of time and money through having specialised stock and equipment held locally.”

Lyness’ location, in the sheltered deep-water anchorage of Scapa Flow, makes it ideally located for marine energy developers testing technologies at EMEC.

Neil Kermode, EMEC’s managing director, said: “Orkney’s local authority has taken a visionary approach in creating a vital support base at Lyness.

“It’s great to see the private sector responding in such as positive way – we’re delighted to be the first of many clients Fendercare can expect after making such a strong commitment to using the new facilities at Lyness.”

The £3 million first phase of the Lyness redevelopment is expected to be completed this summer.

Five marine energy developers will be using the facilities this year and four more companies are in discussions with the Council over establishing a presence onshore.

Michael Morrison, business development manager for OIC Marine Services, said: “The marine renewables sector was in its infancy when the Council took the decision to invest in Lyness.

“We had confidence that this is the right location for a support base – we welcome the arrival of Fendercare and look forward to this and other companies creating a real hub of renewables activity on the shores of Scapa Flow.”

The Dutch-registered cargo vessel Deo Volente delivered EMEC’s large cable reel from Norway to Fendercare’s new facility at Lyness. A special trailer and tractor unit was used to move it from the quayside to the secure storage area.

About EMEC

The European Marine Energy Centre (established in 2003) is the first centre of its kind to offer developers of both wave and tidal energy converters the opportunity to test their machines in the world class conditions around Orkney, Scotland. EMEC gives developers ideal grid connected and UKAS accredited sites for the evaluation of wave and tidal technologies.

The Centre was established with around £30 million of funding from the Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the Carbon Trust, the UK Government, Scottish Enterprise, the European Union and Orkney Islands Council. For more information, visit www.emec.org.uk.

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