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Atlantis Resources moves centre stage.

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Last week we published the Press Release announcing that Atlantis Resources had aquired the 90% of the MeyGen project for the Pentland Firth it did not own from GDF Suez and Morgan Stanley. We felt that this announcement was of considerable strategic importance in the wider industry context, and it raised the question of where and how the machines would actually be built. With the International Tidal Energy Summit being held in London next week, this seemed an ideal moment to interview Tim Cornelius the CEO of Atlantis Resources.


 He was interviewed in Singapore by our CEO, Christopher Longmore, on November 20th. This is what he had to say:

CL

This has surely been a year of great progress for the tidal turbine industry generally. Do you agree with that?

TC

I absolutely agree. This has been breakout year. Major projects are going forward, and turbines are starting to go into the water – so long the stumbling block for our industry.

 

CL

There are now some large industrial sharks with deep pockets swimming around, mainly French, but German too. How do you feel about them?

TC

I am aboslutely delighted to see them there. Firstly competition is itself healthy; secondly this is a strong indication of coming maturity in our industry. In the future, turbine supply contracts will be awarded by projectdevelopers who will be able to choose a turbine from a range of suppliers offering differing solutions with different technical advantages at different price points.

 
CL

The two biggest tidal resources in Europe are in Scotland and France. Your name has not figured on the list of those interested in the French pilot farms specifically or the Alderney Race more generally. Can you confirm that you are focussing on Scotland and giving France a miss?

TC

Absolutely not. Atlantis Resources is a global developer with global ambitions. If there is a market opportunity, we will want to compete there. We have a strategy in place for France which will be announced in due course.

 

CL

Unlike France, the UK seems not really to have an industrial policy at all. Is this a handicap?

TC

Although I see that as having been fair comment, I strongly disagree that the UK does not NOW have an industrial policy. Great Britain has generally been a good European citizen, but this has not always been to the benefit of the country. The BIS, DECC and the Scottish Government are now looking at processes that will encourage the development of the local supply chain which will lead to higher UK content in marine renewables projects in UK waters. The support we have had has been first class, particularly that in Scotland, where years of experience in the oil and gas industry, and the presence of the Dounreay nuclear power plant nearby means that we can easily access all the industrial skills and resource that we need to move forward.

 

CL

In France DCNS, and Voith are clearly going to build locally; with Alstom that is a bit less clear, but they are already building a turbine factory in Cherbourg so dual use seems likely. Sabella and Tidalys are both local anyway. What are your manufacturing plans for the Pentland Firth?

TC

Our position in the industry is potentially different to theirs. We are device and project developers, not industrialists. In Lockheed Martin we have our industrial partner whose responsibility it is to get the machines built using flexible and adaptable supply chain solutions. They have the right blend of industrial experience and the desire to be involved in this new industry. (Note too their recent deal with a Chinese partner to build the world’s biggest OTEC plant). 

 

CL

We are hearing from very very good sources that the Alderney Race is truly awsome in terms of the physical environment. The source was definitely implying that the challenge was being either under-estimated or under-stated – maybe both. What are your feelings about the even fiercer Pentland Firth?

TC

I have the utmost respect for the environment in which we seek to deploy turbine systems. We feel confident that investment in site analysis, comprehensive and exhaustive data collection, stringent engineering and “micro-siting” (making sure that the devices are not where currents are at their most violent) are the right solutions to what is by any standards a major technical challenge – but one that we relish.

 

CL

We see the potential for a clash between Scotland and the rest of the UK over marine renewables. That would probably be worsened in the event of Scottish independence. Is this a factor for you?

TC

This has absolutely not been a factor for us in any shape size or form. I cannot comment on matters political; what I can say is that the help and co-ordination betzeen the two governments and their agencies has been absolutely faultless in our experience. It is my belief that regardless of independence or not that kind of positive co-operation is a vital national interest whatever the political structure, and I am confident that it will continue as successfully as at present.

 

Tim Cornelius is one of guest speakers at next week’s International Tidal Energy Summit in London. To-morrow we will be running a preview of the tidal industry’s leading conference that has, as usual, lined up an unrivalled speakers’s list. We are proud to be one of their media partners.
 

Source: CL for Marine Renewables News
Story from: http://www.marine-renewables-news.com/tidal-stream/atlantis-resources-moves-centre-stage-2111