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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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Port boss: Pembroke Dock development full permission an ‘important step’

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THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE of the Port of Milford Haven has welcomed a decision of “non-intervention” by the Welsh Government over plans to re-vamp Pembroke Dock’s historic port facilities.

The redevelopment scheme, approved by Pembrokeshire County Council’s Planning Committee in May, will see some areas such as a dock covered with sand and “infilled”.

Plans also include the demolishing of some buildings, erection of buildings and ancillary works.
Despite planning being granted at council level, full authorisation to go ahead with the development was not to be issued until the Welsh Government made its decision regards the matter.

More about the planning application can be read here: https://www.herald.wales/west-wales/pembrokeshire/major-marine-project-causes-concern-about-visual-impact-and-heritage-loss/

Now that the Welsh Government has decided not to interfere with Pembrokeshire County Council’s grant of planning permission, the Port’s boss, Andy Jones, expressed his delight, saying: “This marks an important step forward in the development of Wales’ clean energy centre at Pembroke Dock.

“It will provide sustainable opportunities for the many people who rely on the activity along the Milford Haven Waterway for employment.

CEO: Port Authority’s Andy Jones (Pic MHPA)

“Pembroke Dock Marine will unlock new opportunities for young people to enter the maritime, renewable and engineering sectors, build resilience within Pembrokeshire’s business community, and make a positive contribution to our natural environment as we transition to a low carbon energy generation.”

Tim James, head of commercial and energy at the Port of Milford Haven called the project a “once in a generation opportunity to improve Pembrokeshire’s economy for years to come”.

Objectors had complained that the plans were too large and would damage the historic dockyard, as well as having a visual impact on the dock.

The was opposition from local heritage campaigners, with complaints over the size of two huge proposed hangars which the project’s critics said would impact adversely the landscape.

The economic benefits of the £60 million marine energy “far outweigh” any impact on the historic environment, a report earlier this year to council planners said.

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Medical evacuation from LPG tanker off St Ann’s Head

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ANGLE Lifeboat was launched on service at 12:59pm on Thursday afternoon (Jun 10) to assist in a medical evacuation from a LPG tanker 13 miles SSW off St Ann’s Head.

The coastguard helicopter from Newquay in Cornwall was also on route. With the poor visibility due to fog, Angle all-weather lifeboat was to stand by the vessel to provide an alternative route for evacuation if needed.

After a choppy route in the poor visibility the RNLI volunteers arrived on scene at 2:07pm.

At the time of their arrival, the paramedic from the coastguard helicopter was aboard the vessel preparing the casualty to be winched to the helicopter.

In less than ten minutes the casualty was winched up to the helicopter and flown to hospital, at which point the lifeboat and crews were stood down and headed back to the station.

After rehousing shortly after 3:30pm the lifeboat was washed fuelled and made ready for service shortly after.

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Milford Haven child sex offender Colin Sharpe jailed for 10 years

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A MILFORD HAVEN child abuser sat crying in court as details of his four-year long abuse of a schoolgirl were read out.

Colin Sharpe’s teenage victim says she is now “plagued by nightmares” that he will return and abuse her again, Swansea Crown Court heard.

Sharpe, 40, of Howarth Close was told by Judge Paul Thomas QC at Swansea Crown Court that “Your only concern was your own selfish sexual pleasure.”

The court heard that after the matter was reported to police and officers began a search for tSharpe. He was found in his vehicle in a car park at St Ann’s Head.

The court was told that police used their car to block Sharpe’s exist from the car park but he “sped off” across the grass towards the cliff edge before crashing into a fence.

The defendant abandoned his vehicle and made off on foot to the clifftop. A standoff then developed during which police brought in a specialist negotiator to talk him down.

After a lengthy negotiation Sharpe was arrested.

Passing sentence, the judge told Sharpe: “You had no concern for the psychological damage you did.”

He added: “But it is to your credit that you immediately admitted what you had done; this had saved his victim the further ordeal of giving evidence in a trial.

Judge Paul Thomas jailed Sharpe for 10 years and imposed an indefinite order requiring him to sign the sexual offences register on release.

Sharpe will now be subject to an indefinite sexual harm prevention order and an indefinite restraining order when he is released.

As The Herald previously reported, Sharpe, who has been on remand since March, admitted one charge of sexual assault and five of sexual activity with a child, all between July 2017 and March 2021.

Police were informed about the sexual abuse by a third party, who discovered what he had done, and he was arrested and questioned early last year.

Earlier, Ian Wright, counsel for the CPS said that Sharpe used “emotional blackmail to frighten the girl into staying silent”.

He added “Matters seem to have come to a head on March 12 this year after Sharpe had once again sexually abused his victim.”

Dean Pulling, defending, said that when the police interviewed Sharpe he gave ‘guilty pleas and admissions’ at the earliest opportunity.

Excerpts from a personal victim statement highlighting the ongoing ordeal of Sharpe’s teenage victim were also read out in court.

“I am having nightmares,” the statement reads.

“I have nightmares of him coming back from prison and starting to do worse. My life has been greatly affected.”

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