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IHC Merwede enters tidal energy market

Dutch technology firm IHC Merwede is to enter race to develop commercial tidal energy, with the acquisition of Ecofys’ Wave Rotor technology.

The development of the technology will be carried out by a new subsidiary of IHC Merwede, IHC Tidal Energy, with the aim of bringing the product to market.

“With this acquisition, IHC Merwede has secured highly developed knowledge and the patented Wave Rotor technology,” the company said in a statement.

Willem Steenge, managing director of IHC Tidal Energy, said: "The acquisition of Wave Rotor technology enables IHC Merwede to launch a fully integrated system to generate electricity using tidal energy. The investment in this emerging market also fits well into the company's strategic portfolio."

Developed by Utrecht-based Ecofys over the past ten years, the vertically oriented Wave Rotor generates power from both tidal currents and wave motion. The technology is a patented innovation from Ecofys that has already been demonstrated at a 30kW pilot plant in the Westerschelde.

Manon Janssen, managing director of Ecofys, said: "Ecofys is very proud to transfer this innovative technology over to IHC Merwede. With its expertise and global presence, IHC Merwede will bring Wave Rotor technology to the next commercial phase. Ecofys expects that Wave Rotor technology will have a big impact on the world."

After the Wave Rotor was developed, it was brought through the pre-commercial stage by OceanMill, which “proved that the technology has enormous potential and is commercially viable,” IHC Merwede said. IHC Tidal Energy now intends has bring the acquired technology to market, and cement IHC Merwede’s position in the renewables sector.

As a technology company with an offshore division, IHC Merwede is already active in the renewable energy sector. The company said it foresees a significant growth of activities in Europe, North America and Asia.
 

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