French group agrees €130m investment in Irish hydro-power firm
A French naval defence and energy company has agreed a €130 million investment in an Irish hydro-power firm.
Paris-based DCNS yesterday outlined its expansion plans for OpenHydro, a tech company developing marine power alternatives.
As part of the deal DCNS will extend its stake in OpenHydro from 11 per cent to a controlling 59.7 per cent, subject to regulatory approval.
Welcoming the deal, OpenHydro chief executive James Ives, the company’s first employee in 2004, said the partnership was necessary to deliver on the company’s vision.
“We need to partner a large industrial that has both the industrial and financial strength to allow us to deliver our package. This was very much part of our plan.”
DCNS chief executive Patrick Boissier yesterday confirmed the €130 million investment while outlining plans to generate at least €1 billion worth of sales by 2025.
“This operation is a practical implementation of our ambition in marine renewable energy, which is one of DCNS’ s development priorities for the coming decades,” said Mr Boissier. “Taking control of a start-up in another country and in the energy sector demonstrates the magnitude of the transformation put into effect by our group since the launch of our growth plan three years ago.”
Tidal energy is based on the predictable strength and speed of oceans and is deemed environmentally friendly. On a global scale the potential marine energy generation market is equivalent to about 60 EPR (European pressurised reactor) nuclear facilities.
Eventually “several tens of thousands” of marine turbines are anticipated across the planet.
Since its foundation in 2004 OpenHydro has developing a system that produces electricity at competitive rates. Its patented turbines are made with a single moving part and generate low noise levels.
DCNS is a world leader in naval defence, primarily involved in the design and building of submarines, as well as offering a full range of services to naval bases and shipyards.
The group has expanded its focus to civil nuclear engineering and marine renewable energy, and employs 13,000.