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Scottish wave energy company, AWS Ocean Energy, has secured new investments from Shell Technology Ventures Fund 1 B.V. (“STV Fund”), an affiliate of Royal Dutch Shell plc, and the investment fund Tudor BVI Global Portfolio L.P. (“Tudor”). These new investments, coupled with the Scottish Government £2million grant made to AWS Ocean Energy last year, will facilitate the commercial development and deployment of the company’s Archimedes Wave Swing, the world’s first sub-merged wave energy system.
STV Fund, which is managed by Kenda Capital B.V., selectively focuses on renewable energy technologies that show significant promise of delivering cost-competitive energy and chose to invest in AWS Ocean Energy after a detailed evaluation of the international marine energy market.
Aruna Subramanian, Investment Principal at Kenda Capital B.V. said: “Whilst recognising the vital contribution the oil and gas sector makes to the world economy, the development of new energy technologies is crucial if we are to address the challenges of energy security and environmental responsibility.”
Simon Grey, Chief Executive of AWS Ocean Energy said: “The investment made by STV Fund and Tudor is a significant step forward for the company and the wave sector as a whole. Having their backing, alongside the Scottish Government, is an endorsement of what we have achieved so far and important for our future plans. This new investment will allow us to continue building our technical team where we have some really exciting opportunities opening up.”
Commenting on the company’s plans to deploy its technology, Simon Grey said: “The AWS team will deploy a demonstration 250KW pre-commercial prototype at Orkney’s European Marine Energy Centre in 2009 and we expect this to lead on to the first phase of a commercial demonstration farm in 2011 which may expand to 100 AWS units within three years.”
As part of the investment deal, AWS Ocean’s Board of Directors will be joined by Terry Rhodes, Shell’s Head of Offshore Structures, Aruna Subramanian of Kenda Capital B.V. and Ahmed Moussa, the former General Manager of Gamesa, the Spanish wind turbine manufacturer.
Welcoming the new directors to the board, AWS Ocean Chairman John Anderson said: “Not only will we benefit from the considerable experience of the new directors but this latest investment recognises the great work of the talented team at AWS and will provide the resources to attract more talent to the company to help grow AWS as a leader in wave energy.”
In addition to these new investments, RAB Capital, one of AWS’s existing shareholders which first invested in April 2006, will further increase its shareholding in the company as part of an arrangement that sees some of the founder shareholders secure an exit.
Leading Edinburgh law firm, McClure Naismith, were legal advisers to AWS Ocean Energy on the transaction.