Scotland business

Jobs threat as Aquamarine Power 'downsizes'

Oyster wave device Image copyright Aquamarine Power
Image caption Aquamarine Power has been testing its wave power technology at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney

Scotland's renewables industry has been dealt a fresh blow with the news that wave energy firm Aquamarine Power is to "significantly downsize" its business.

The Edinburgh-based company said it had launched a consultation process with staff as part of a major restructuring.

BBC Scotland understands Aquamarine's workforce could be cut from more than 50 to less than 20.

Last month, Edinburgh-based wave power firm Pelamis went into administration.

Aquamarine Power chief executive John Malcolm said the decision to downsize the firm came after a strategic review.

He said: "This will involve retaining a core operational and management team to run the business and continue maintaining our Oyster 800 wave machine at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney.

"We have entered into a consultation process with all of our employees on how we will take forward the restructuring and redundancy programme.

"This is obviously taking place at a difficult time of year and we will be working very closely with every employee to achieve the best outcome for all."

'Considerable challenges'

He added: "None of this is a reflection on the extraordinary dedication and hard work of every single member of the Aquamarine Power team; rather it is a consequence of the considerable financial, regulatory and technical challenges faced by the ocean energy sector as a whole.

"In a relatively short number of years our business has significantly advanced the goal of generating electricity from waves and this has relied wholly upon the bright ideas, innovation and talent of the people who work here.

"We remain confident that Oyster technology offers the best route to a commercial near shore wave energy machine."

The Scottish government recently announced it would set up a new technology development body to encourage innovation in the wave energy industry.

It added that Wave Energy Scotland would bring the best engineering and academic minds together to work on furthering wave technology.

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