Siemens increases stake in Marine Current Turbines

ERLANGEN, Germany, 11/7/2011 (PennWell) — Experts anticipate double-digit growth rates for the marine current tidal sector through 2020, and technology conglomerate Siemens (NYSE: SI) wants a piece of the action.

Siemens increased its stake in Britain’s Marine Current Turbines Ltd. to 45 percent in a deal announced recently. Siemens first acquired a minor stake in the company in February 2010.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

“With this increase in its stake, Siemens is strengthening its activities in ocean power generation,” said Michael Axmann, CFO of the newly-founded Solar & Hydro Division within Siemens’ Energy Sector. “We will actively shape the commercialization process of innovative marine current power plants.”

MCT has already demonstrated it is capable of implementing commercial-scale projects via a demonstrator unit called “SeaGen”, which is located in Northern Ireland’s Strangford Lough. Since November 2008, MCT’s two axial turbines have fed nearly 2.7 GWh, giving the project the distinction of having produced the largest amount of electricity in the whole marine current power sector.

MCT’s partnership with Siemens will be crucial in securing investors for the company’s next projects, said MCT CEO Andrew Tyler.

“We have the increased backing of a major industrial player in Siemens, which is essential to support the commercialization of our proven technology,’ Tyler said.

MCT plans to present two project investment prospectuses in November for an 8 MW project in Kyle Rhea, Scotland, and a 10 MW project in Anglesey Skerries, Wales. MCT also has approval from The Crown Estate to deploy a 100 MW tidal farm off Brough Ness on the southernmost tip of the Orkney Islands in Scotland.

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