Irish Wave-Energy Technology Developer Wavebob in Funding Round

Wavebob Ltd., the Irish technology company seeking to harness the power of the ocean to produce clean energy, is seeking to raise 10 million euros ($13 million) by the end of March.

“We brought in a new investor before Christmas and are now in a funding round,” Chief Executive Officer Andrew Parish said in a telephone interview. “We are currently in due diligence with two strategic investors and also the financial community.”

Energy from the waves has the potential to supply as much as 13 percent of current world electricity consumption, according to the European Ocean Energy Association. It currently costs about $434 a megawatt-hour, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance data, compared with about $76 a megawatt-hour for coal-fired power.

“We’ve had a lot of interest from strategic investors in mainland Europe and financial investors in the U.S.,” Parish said.

Wavebob in March teamed up with Spain’s Abengoa SA to evaluate potential locations for wave-energy farms around the world and to commercialize Wavebob’s technology, in a six-year agreement.

“We continue to work closely with Abengoa on our research collaboration and they are just the kind of strategic investor we’d like to work with in the future,” Parish said.

Wavebob plans to install three machines, in Scotland, Portugal and the U.S., in the next two years. It’s in the process of finalizing a manufacturing tender for its project in Scotland and is seeking to have a 100-kilowatt machine installed and working by the first quarter of 2013. The company then expects to install a device in Portugal in the third quarter of that year and is working toward a 500-kilowatt system in the U.S. in 2014.

“In three to four years time we see a trade sale as a more realistic and appropriate exit than an initial public offering,” said Parish. Possible buyers include wind-energy developers and engineering companies.

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