DCNS increases stake in marine power developer OpenHydro

French naval technologies manufacturer DCNS has increased its stake in Irish tidal energy developer OpenHydro to nearly 60%, HydroWorld.com has learned.

The companies signed a strategic agreement in January 2011 that gave DCNS an 11% holding in OpenHydro at a cost of around US$19.1 million, and DCNS said the “exploitable power of at least 90 GW” for hydrokinetic development worldwide made OpenHydro a strong investment.

DCNS said it hopes to see its annual sales of tidal energy products exceed $1 billion by 2025.

“This operation is a practical implementation of our ambition in marine renewable energy, which is one of DCNS’ development priorities for the coming decades,” DCNS Chairman and CEO Patrick Boissier said.

The company’s stake in OpenHydro is now 59.7%, though OpenHydro will retain its 90 employees and brand while operating from its current headquarters in Dublin.

OpenHydro — founded in 2004 — said the acquisition is a good match for both companies as it combines OpenHydro’s experience in wave energy development with DCNS’ expertise in naval construction.

“We share with DCNS a passion for the sea and for leading-edge technology,” OpenHydro CEO James Ives said. “We are proud and excited to continue our entrepreneurial adventure as part of one of the world’s leading groups.”

HydroWorld.com reported in October 2012 that OpenHydro had been granted exclusive rights to develop a 100-MW tidal energy farm off Torr Head in Ireland.

The company has also announced plans for a 2 MW project off the northern Brittany coast in France, and a 1 MW project in Washington’s Puget Sound.

The acquisition is expected to become effective in the first half of this year, pending statutory authorizations.

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