STX France Lorient to build tide turbine barge

22 Jun 2010

STX France, Lorient SAS has announced the signature of a letter of intent with Irish tidal energy company OpenHydro for the design and build of an installation barge to deploy OpenHydro’s 16m Open-Centre tidal turbines.

Delivery of the vessel is scheduled for March 2011, and it will be employed in the transportation, deployment and recovery of tidal turbines to a tidal demonstration farm located off the French coast in the Paimpol-Bréhat region of Brittany.

This will be the first demonstration farm in France for the production of electricity from tidal streams. OpenHydro has been contracted by Electricité de France (EDF) for this development.

In order to start the construction of the barge in Autumn 2010 the letter of intent provides for the immediate launch and commencement of design activities by STX France Lorient. The total contract includes about 20,000 production hours for the Lorient shipyard and its sub-contractors.

“This letter of intent is essential for our shipyard and sub-contractors as it clearly places us in the growth sector of marine energy. Whereas energy production from tidal current is still in its early stages, the growth potential of this sector is very important and offers promising prospects for the future”, Jean Roche, Managing director of STX France Lorient SAS declared.

The full contract should be finalised within the next few months.

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