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Buyer sought as tidal energy company goes into administration

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tidalenergyA BUYER is being sought for an established Welsh-based tidal stream technology company which has entered administration.

Tidal Energy Ltd, which was set up in 2001, uses technology to harness the power of the sea’s tides to provide a sustainable source of renewable electricity. It operates out of offices in Cardiff and Pembroke Dock.

However, the sector has suffered from economic and political uncertainty in recent times, due to the withdrawal of previous government subsidy promises under the Contracts for Difference regime.

Joint administrators Steve Wade and David Hill – from business rescue and recovery specialist Begbies Traynor – were appointed on October 17.

The administrators have retained key staff to continue the company’s operations and specialist knowledge while a buyer is sought for the business and assets as a going concern.

Tidal Energy Ltd has developed  tidal stream technology called “DeltaStream”, a full scale 400KW turbine that has been successfully tested at Wales’s first tidal energy site at Ramsey Sound, in Pembrokeshire, west Wales.  The Ramsey Sound site is also owned and operated by the company.

Tidal Energy Ltd Director, Chris Williams, said the results of testing the technology made the company a strong commercial prospect.  “The full turbine characteristics have been tested and verified, and we also possess a wealth of data and information that makes the whole operation, including the turbine and the Ramsey Sound site an attractive proposition to potential partners,” said Mr Williams.

“Unfortunately, market forces have meant we have struggled financially, but we are confident that we have the skillsets amongst our people and a tried and tested technology in place that makes us confident about our future prospects. We therefore strongly believe we can help the UK lead the world in the development and application of tidal technology.”

Administrator, Steve Wade, from Begbies Traynor, said the economic climate had had a “significant” impact on the company’s business.

“We hope, however, that by working closely with the board of directors and government agencies we can attract potential purchasers to emerge from a variety of different sources,” he said.

David Jones, Project Director, Marine Energy Pembrokeshire told The Herald: “At a time when this new sector is really gathering momentum in Wales it is disappointing to hear that a Welsh based company, who have played a key role in the sectors development has gone into administration. It highlights the challenges of being at the forefront of a nascent sector.

“In the short-term it is important to work with others to ensure that the skills and knowledge of the TEL team are not lost from the area and their experience can assist other companies who are locating in Pembrokeshire. We need to recognise that the Ramsey project delivered on the funded priorities, which were to develop a technology and site, deploy and grid connect a technology and monitor environmental interactions.

“The project has provided invaluable learning and has assisted local supply chain companies to diversify into a new sector. It is crucial that this experience assists us all moving forward.

“The project site, which is grid connected will be a potentially attractive development opportunity for a number of marine energy companies. Pembrokeshire and Wales with its abundant resource, €100 million of EU Structural Funding for marine energy, world class ports and supply chain capability will continue to attract and support this new important energy sector. Minesto, Marine Power Systems and Wave-tricity have all recently chosen Wales as a destination to develop their technologies and there is real progress being made on our two Demonstration Zones.

He continued: “Combined with the exciting opportunities of tidal range the marine energy sector will continue to play an important role in creating new sustainable low carbon jobs in Wales. The UK is leading the world in this new sector but like many other nascent industries it is inevitable that some technologies will not move beyond an R&D phase.”

 

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Covid-19 vaccination venues and timeline announced for everyone locally over 50

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EVERY person in JCVI priority groups 5 to 9 will be offered a COVID-19 vaccination by 18 April, Hywel Dda University Health Board has confirmed.

While the health board’s vaccination programme has the capacity to offer a vaccine to everyone in groups 5 to 9 by the original target date of 4 April, the delivery plan has had to be adjusted based on confirmed vaccine deliveries.

Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, and Pembrokeshire residents in priority groups 5 to 9 can expect to receive their vaccine as follows:

  • Group 5, people aged 65 – 69 years – delivered by GP practices between 15 February and 12 March
  • Group 6, people aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers – delivered by GP practices between 22 February and 4 April
  • Group 7, people aged 60 – 64 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 8 March
  • Group 8, people aged 55 – 59 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 22 March
  • Group 9, people aged 50 – 54 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 5 April

The health board currently has mass vaccination centres located in Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Haverfordwest, Tenby, Carmarthen and Llanelli.

Group 6 is significantly the largest cohort to be vaccinated to date and we understand that many in this group will be anxious to receive a vaccine. Please do not contact your GP or the health board to ask about your appointment, you will be contacted directly when it is your turn and we thank you for your patience.

People in groups 7, 8 and 9 will receive a letter with an appointment date and time. Please arrive as close to your appointment time as possible. The letter will include a phone number to contact the health board should you need to rearrange or cancel your appointment but please make every effort to keep your allocated appointment time.

Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda UHB, said: “While  our programme has had to slow  due to supplies, we want to reassure everyone in groups 5 to 9 that our amazing teams of vaccinators and GP practices have the capability and flexibility to deliver our vaccine supplies as they arrive into the region.

“Vaccine supplies will start to increase again from mid-March, and we are confident that everyone living in our three counties in the top 9 priority groups will be offered a vaccine by mid-April.

“In Hywel Dda we have an older population compared to some other health boards and so over 50% of our adult population will have been offered a vaccine by milestone 2.

“To be able to say that as we approach the anniversary of the first national lockdown is nothing short of extraordinary.

“And again, I must say thank you to everyone living in our three counties who continue to come forward in substantial numbers for the vaccine. Uptake remains remarkably high and we hope to see this continue through groups 5 to 9 and into group 10.”

People are asked, wherever possible, to use their own private transport to attend an appointment. Lifts can be accepted from someone in their household or support bubble, but not from anyone else due to the risk of transmission of the virus.

The health board has put in place transport support for anyone who may have difficulty attending their vaccination appointment. If you have no other means of travel, please contact the health board on 0300 303 8322 and we will be happy to assist.

Everyone in priority groups 1 to 4 should have received an offer of a vaccination. If you have not been contacted, or have changed your mind, please contact your GP at the earliest opportunity. No one will be left behind.

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Nolton Haven: Man hospitalised after getting into difficulties in sea

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A MAN was taken to hospital after getting into difficulties in the sea off Nolton Haven on Friday.

Emergency services were alerted at 2.40pm on February 26 by a 999 call to the control centre.

The Little Haven RNLI lifeboat, Broad Haven Coastguard, an ambulance crew and a Coastguard rescue helicopter assisted police in the operation.

The male casualty was stabilised on the beach and shortly before 4.30pm, was then transported to Withybush Hospital.

A police spokesman told The Herald: “We were called to a male who had got into difficulties in the water at Nolton Haven shortly before 3pm.

“He was taken to hospital by ambulance.”

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Cyclist killed on A40 was serving police officer, force confirms

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A CYCLIST who died after a crash with a van on the A40 in Carmarthenshire was a serving police officer with Dyfed-Powys Police, the force has confirmed in a statement to Herald.Wales.

The driver of the van involved in the crash, which happened on Thursday (Feb 25) has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, it was confirmed on Friday (Feb 26).

Police are investigating the fatal collision, which caused the road to be closed for 12 hours, and are asking for any witnesses to come forward by calling 101.

37-year-old Lynwen Thomas, who is a former student at Ysgol Bro Myrddin, Croes-y-Ceiliog, Carmarthen, was a sergeant and a very well-respected member of Dyfed-Powys Police.

A spokesperson for the police said in a statement: “Our thoughts are with her family, friends and colleagues, who have all been offered specialist support. We ask that family members are given the privacy they need at this difficult time.”

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