Wave power firm OCT buoyed by rise in renewables

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Offshore wave power firm Ocean Power Technologies, whose European operations are based in Warwick, decreased its loss in the first quarter and remained buoyed by the global outlook for renewables.

The company, which will provide technology for the world-leading marine energy project Wave Hub off the coast of Cornwall, said its involvement in major renewable energy infrastructure projects both in the UK and abroad made it look to the future with confidence.

The Aim-listed US firm posted an operating loss for the three months to the end of July of £1.9 million compared to £2.6 million in same period last year.

Its contract order backlog stood at £3.8 million at July 31st compared to £2.2 million on the same day last year and £4.5 million at April 30th.

Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) chief executive officer Mark R. Draper said: “We made a strong start to our fiscal year, and achieving gross profits on our contracts. The development of our first PB150 PowerBuoy remains on track.

“We also signed a commitment agreement with the South West Regional Development Agency to make Wave Hub, one of the world’s largest proposed renewable marine energy projects, a commercial reality.”

The company said it believed it was well-placed to benefit from the improving global environment for renewable energy.

The Wave Hub project is being backed by the UK government as part of its Low Carbon Industrial Strategy and is receiving £42 million in public funding to establish the area as a leading global centre for marine energy.

The project could create more than 1,800 jobs with nearly half of those outside the South West region.

The South West Regional Development Agency expects the final cabling and subsea infrastructure to be installed by the project’s engineering contractor by the end of calendar year 2010.

OPT’s involvement in the Wave Hub project includes plans to build, install and operate a wave power station using its patented PowerBuoy systems generating up to 5MW of electricity.

The firm is also working with the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Scotland and said it had made significant progress on the development of its first 150kW PowerBuoy.

The company said two major manufacturing milestones had been achieved in the development of the PB150 PowerBuoy during the quarter – the award of the steel fabrication contract for the PowerBuoy structure and the completion of the mechanical elements of the power take-off system.

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