Market News

 February 17, 2012
Siemens jumps feet first into tidal power with Marine Current Turbines buyout

 Siemens has stepped up its support for the SeaGen tidal turbine after announcing it will take complete ownership of Marine Current Turbines (MCT).

The engineering giant's new solar and hydro division yesterday confirmed that it will complete a deal to increase its stake in MCT from its current 45 per cent holding to 100 per cent in the next few weeks. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

The Bristol-based tidal power developer has already installed a commercial-scale demonstration project with its SeaGen tidal turbine in Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland and has further projects in the pipeline, including the 8MW Kyle Rhea project in Scotland and the 10MW Anglesey Skerries project in Wales.

Ted Scheidegger, chief executive of Siemens solar and hydro, said the move marks an important first step for the company towards securing a leading position in the fledgeling market.

Tidal power is seen as a promising green technology, as supplies can be easily predicted based on tidal flows.

The worldwide potential for power generated by tidal power plants is estimated at 800 terawatt-hours annually, equivalent to three to four per cent of global power consumption.

"The acquisition of Marine Current Turbines is an important step forwards for the solar and hydro division," said Scheidegger.

"We will continue to drive the commercialisation of this promising technology which harvests energy from highly predictable tidal streams. Our target is to secure a leading position in this future business."

The acquisition will follow Siemens' decision in November last year to increase its stake in the company to 45 per cent, up from the 10 per cent it acquired in February 2010.

MCT chief executive Andrew Tyler said Siemens' acquisition is "hugely welcomed" and signals great confidence in the company's achievements.