Orkney MSP Liam McArthur today used First Minister’s Questions to call on the Scottish Government to do all it can to support Aquamarine Power and the marine energy sector.
Wave energy company Aquamarine Power called in administrators yesterday, Wednesday, to manage the business and to seek a sale or investment via the administration process.
The pioneering wave energy developers have been testing their full-scale Oyster wave energy machines at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney.
Speaking at First Ministers Questions today, Orkney MSP Liam McArthur said:
“The First Minister will be aware of the disappointing news this week that wave developer Aquamarine Power has called in administrators. These are worrying times for the staff employed at a company that has achieved a great deal in taking forward the development of wave energy in this country, including at the European Marine Energy Centre in my Orkney constituency.
“Can the First Minister offer an assurance that her Government and its agencies are doing everything in their power to support the company and its staff in securing a positive outcome and an early exit from administration? Will she agree to lend weight to the efforts of her energy minister by getting personally involved in discussions with stakeholders about how we secure the future success not just of the wave energy sector but of wider marine energy development in Scotland?”
Responding to Mr McArthur, the First Minister confirmed that the Scottish Government “remains absolutely committed to the marine energy sector and to doing everything that we can to help to secure a buyer for Aquamarine Power.”
Speaking after the exchanges, Liam McArthur said:
“I welcome the First Minister's assurances that the Scottish Government will do all it can to secure a buyer for Aquamarine Power. This is no more than staff at the company have a right to expect.
“Sadly, developments at Aquamarine Power are the latest in a string of disappointing news to hit the wave energy sector. Despite these set backs, I firmly believe that wave energy has an important part to play in our future energy mix.
“However, at such a challenging time, it would be good to see the First Minister take more of a direct, personal interest in discussions about what needs to be done to secure the future of marine energy in Scotland. This would be welcomed by those involved the sector and would lend considerable weight to the efforts of Energy Minister, Fergus Ewing."