Ocean powers to strong start

Offshore wave energy group Ocean Power Technologies has reported a reduction in its first-quarter losses and said it was confident about the year ahead.


Offshore wave energy group Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) has reported a reduction in its first-quarter losses and said it was confident about the year ahead.


The company, whose manufacturing centre is based in Warwick, posted an operating loss for the three months to the end of July of $3.2m (£1.9m), compared with $4.4m in the same period a year earlier.


Revenues fell from $1.8m to $1.3m and cost of revenues decreased to $1m from $1.9m in 2008 following lower-than-expected activity on a number of contracts, including its wave power station off the coast of Spain and the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) project near Orkney in Scotland.


However, the group said that these losses were offset by an increase in revenue related to the company’s utility PowerBuoy project in Hawaii and its autonomous PowerBuoy project for the US Navy.


The group’s contract order backlog was $6.4m, compared with $3.7m at 31 July 2008 and $7.5m at 30 April 2009. OPT claims that the majority of this backlog will be realised as revenue over the remainder of the fiscal year.


Mark Draper, chief executive officer at OPT, said: ‘We made a strong start to our fiscal year with significant progress on our flagship projects, and achieving gross profits on our contracts. The development of our first PB150 PowerBuoy remains on track.’


According to the firm, two manufacturing milestones had been achieved in the development of the PB150 PowerBuoy during the quarter the award of the steel fabrication contract for its structure and the completion of the mechanical elements of the power take-off system.


Draper added: ‘We also signed a commitment agreement with the South West Regional Development Agency to make Wave Hub, one of the world’s largest proposed renewable marine energy projects, a commercial reality. As a result, we continue to look to the future with confidence.’