Tata Steel has supplied an order for offshore grade steel manufactured in Scunthorpe and Motherwell to a pioneering wave energy device.
Aquamarine Power’s device, which is capable of generating 800kW of electricity, was unveiled last month by Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond in Fife. The machine, called the Oyster 800, will now be transported to Orkney, Scotland, for installation later this summer.
The order for high-quality steel plate, with enhanced toughness properties, was used to create the device, which is 26 metres long and 16 metres wide. The steel was manufactured at Tata Steel’s Scunthorpe steelworks before being rolled at the company’s plate mill in Dalzell, Motherwell. Tata Steel worked closely with Burntisland Fabrications (BiFab) which built the Oyster 800 at its Scottish facilities.
Deirdre Fox, Tata Steel's Sales and Marketing Director for Energy and Power, said: 'This contract is another example of Tata Steel increasing its profile in the renewables sector. This is an emerging industry that is crucial to the UK’s energy security and we are keen to support the development of efficient new supply chains in this field.
'We have served the more traditional oil and gas markets for many years and will be able to make further use of that knowledge and experience for the benefit of our customers as this new market grows.'
Iain Scrimger, Business Development Manager at BiFab, said: “Tata Steel is a key supplier to BiFab. Working with Tata Steel on the fabrication of Aquamarine Power’s Oyster 800 device has given us the opportunity to work together to help deliver a competitive technology harnessing the power of waves to provide clean, green energy.”
The Oyster 800 machine can generate 250% more power than Aquamarine Power’s first full-scale device, at a third of the cost. It represents a significant step forward in the generation of power from wave energy.
The Oyster 800 device will capture energy in nearshore waves and convert it into clean sustainable electricity. It incorporates a wave-powered pump to push high pressure water to drive an onshore hydro-electric turbine.
Craig Harvey, Renewable Energy Account Manager for Tata Steel, said: “We have a pivotal role to play in delivering the products and expertise to these pioneering projects and it is extremely satisfying to see that the result of such a close collaboration with our customer is now ready to be installed at sea.”
Tata Steel in Europe recently reorganised its sales and marketing activities into a number of key sectors, including energy and power. The company is focused on delivering steel and related services to customers operating in all areas of energy generation, including the emerging industries of solar, wave, wind and tidal energy. Wave and tidal energy generation could eventually provide a fifth of the UK’s electricity needs.
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About Tata Steel in Europe
The European operations of Tata Steel (formerly known as Corus) comprise Europe's second largest steel producer. With main steelmaking operations in the UK and the Netherlands, they supply steel and related services to the construction, automotive, packaging, material handling and other demanding markets worldwide.
Tata Steel is one of the world’s top ten steel producers. The combined group has an aggregate crude steel capacity of more than 28 million tonnes and approximately 80,000 employees across four continents.