Simec Atlantis has a raft of renewable energy projects
Tidal was the original business but it has since expanded into waste-to-energy at Uskmouth
MeyGen has proved the commercial viability of tidal power, believes Simec
What it does
Tidal – MeyGen is a tidal project in the Pentland Firth comprising four 1.5 megawatt turbines installed on the site.
Simec Atlantis is the operator and largest shareholder at MeyGen, where plans are to increase markedly the number of turbines.
The company also recently formalised its joint venture in the stretch of water between France and the Channel Islands.
Normandie Hydrolienne has been established to harness up to two gigawatts (2GW) of power from the Alderney Race, the eight-mile straits that runs between Alderney and La Hague, France, as well as more than 1GW of the resource from adjacent concessions under the control of the States of Alderney.
Atlantis has also been appointed to supply tidal generation equipment and offshore construction services for a demonstration project in Japan.
The Y1,800 (£13mln) project is in the straits of Naru Island and is being run by Kyuden Mirai Energy.
Waste to energy – Simec Atlantis is also converting the 220MW Uskmouth, Wales power station to run on waste pellets.
First revenues might be in 2020 with construction expected to take up to 18 months.
Simec Atlantis also is involved in research, consultancy, tidal projects in Indonesia, surface wave energy generation and tidal flows.
Hydro – Atlantis has acquired the maintenance business of GHR, which has long-term contracts at numerous power stations
How it’s doing
MeyGen has been reporting its best-ever operating results.
The operation, in the north of Scotland, has now exported more than 24-gigawatt hours (GWh) of predictable renewable electricity to the UK’s national grid, with 13.8 GWh exported in 2019 alone, enough to power around 3800 homes and generating revenues of £3.9mln.
Atlantis is also planning to add around 80 megawatts of tidal capacity to the MeyGen project and build the world’s first ocean-powered data centre which will be connected to the tidal array with a private wire.
Designs are also underway to connect the centre to the Celtic Norse subsea fibre optic cable currently in development, which the company says will “significantly” enhance Scotland’s international data connectivity.
The project’s AR1500 turbine is also due for servicing and upgrade work at the end of January, which SIMEC said will increase the turbine revenue by 4% with no increase in operating cost when it is redeployed in the spring.
The group’s flagship Uskmouth power station conversion project in Wales remains on track to commence operations by 2021.
Mitsubishi Hitachi has also been appointed to carry out milling, combustion efficiency and emission tests for Uskmouth’s feedstock.
In its results for the first six months of the year, the SIMEC reported a loss before tax of £12.4mln, compared with £9.1mln in the same period of last year, with the change largely accounted for by the consolidation of SIMEC Uskmouth Power into the group since June 2018.
Revenue increased to £2mln from £1.3mln the year before, with the majority of the revenue coming from MeyGen power sales.
The consolidated group cash position at the end of June was £5.1mln, down from £9.3mln at the end of 2018.
What the boss says: Tim Cornelius, chief executive
“The performance of the MeyGen tidal power array during 2019 is a testament to our investment and belief in the commercial-scale prospects of tidal power to date,”
“MeyGen provides “reliable, predictable revenue generation from energy extracted in an environmentally benign manner”.
“The Uskmouth conversion is making good progress.”
- Sign-off on sale of 25% in Uskmouth to fund manager Equitex
- Uskmouth used as a blueprint for other conversion projects
- More strong generating numbers at MeyGen
- Cashflow from GHR contracts
Demand for renewable energy only set to rise.
Simec Atlantis capitalises on leading positions in tidal power and waste-to-energy