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Marine construction company awarded wave power contract.

Byline: Chris Kelsey Assistant Head of Business chris.kelsey@walesonline.co.uk

THE company that built the illfated DeltaStream tidal stream turbine has won a contract to build a new wave energy device.

Mainstay Marine Solutions will complete the first major stage of the wave energy converter development project on behalf of client Wave-Tricity.

The Pembroke Dock-based company also designs, builds and maintains workboats such as pilot boats, wind farm support vessels, survey vessels and patrol craft.

The contract win continues a successful period for Mainstay, which now employs 80 people, with 10% of the direct workforce consisting of apprentices.

The firm's turnover has increased by a third, from just under PS4m to more than PS5m during the past 12 months.

Wave-Tricity was recently granted a PS4m investment from the European Regional Development Fund via the Welsh Government.

It will develop and test its new device, called the Ocean Wave Rower, which will convert the natural motion of the waves into clean energy.

The device will be deployed in the Pembrokeshire Demonstration Zones, a wave energy site off the Pembrokeshire coastline, for two years.

The sea trials, which are scheduled to begin next February, will help produce a commercially viable wave energy converter.

Mainstay's managing director Stewart Graves said: "We have built an enviable reputation for our work on projects in marine energy.

"We are looking forward to working closely with Wave-Tricity on this pioneering scheme. It's the third contract win we have won in the second half of 2016.

"Our dedicated and skilled workforce, which has doubled in the last two years, has been instrumental in our growth and success."

Matthew Fairclough-Kay, managing director at Wave-Tricity, added: "One of our key goals was to ensure the scheme benefited the local economy and created supply-chain opportunities for the region's businesses.

"We're thrilled to be working with Mainstay, which will play an important role in bringing the prospect of clean wave energy a step closer to commercial success."

Mainstay Marine was previously known as Mustang Marine but rebranded last year. The DeltaStream device was a tidal stream turbine fabricated by the company for its developer Tidal Energy Ltd, which last month went into administration.

The contract win announcement comes during the annual Ocean Energy Europe 2016 Conference and Exhibition in Brussels.

Also at the conference, the Welsh Government announced the creation of a new all-Wales body to push forward the development of marine energy.

Marine Energy Wales has evolved from Marine Energy Pembrokeshire (MEP), which was established in 2010. Over the past six years MEP has provided a collaborative approach to support the sustainable development of the sector.

The aim of Marine Energy Wales is described as being "to create a thriving and diverse sustainable marine energy industry which will make a significant contribution to a low-carbon economy. The benefits of this industry will be felt throughout the entire supply chain, creating green sustainable jobs, growth and skills for Wales."

MEP will continue with a regional focus on Pembrokeshire, alongside Morlais in Anglesey.

David Jones, project director of Marine Energy Wales, said: "Since developing Marine Energy Pembrokeshire in 2010, we have seen interest in marine renewable energy in Wales grow substantially. Our industry-led working group has grown from six original members to 90, including over 25 world-leading technology developers.

"Feedback from the sector was for us to create Marine Energy Wales, and this was also a recommendation from a recent ministerial marine energy group. We are looking forward to continuing with our collaborative approach, supporting the development of Wales' Demonstration Zones and encouraging the continued growth of the sector."

The Marine Energy Wales board is industry-led, with current representatives including Carnegie, Marine Power Systems, Minesto, Morlais, Nova Innovation, Tidal Lagoon Power and Wave Hub.

Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure Ken Skates added: "The formation of this pan-Wales body to drive forward the industry and encourage collaboration between all the interested parties is very timely and very welcome.

"The renewable marine energy sector has real potential for Wales, which is a key location for the development and deployment of new innovative technologies. We need to ensure we are in pole position to maximise these opportunities, attract investment and create jobs - and Marine Energy Wales has an important role to play in helping us achieve this."

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A pilot boat built by Mustang Marine, now Mainstay Marine
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 9, 2016
Words:726
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