Israeli company Yam Pro has signed a $180 million agreement to build a 150-megawatt power station driven by wave energy. The agreement is with Indian company Shapoorji Pallonji Group, owners of the TATA Group. Under the agreement, Yam Pro will build electricity production systems in Ghana for the local electric company.
The project, which will take three years to construct, includes revolutionary decentralized systems for producing electricity from ocean waves. In the first stage, a system for producing 10 megawatts will be built, and the capacity will then be expanded to 150 megawatts.
The project will be owned by Shapoorji Pallonji (50%), a Ghanaian partner (18%) and Yam Pro (32%). The company's business model is building and selling its system and a long-term partnership in the sale of the electricity produced from it. Yam Pro was represented in the deal by Amit, Pollack, Matalon & Co. head of the infrastructure, energy and project finance practice Adv. Nadia Davidzon.
The unique technological system, which was developed in Israel, is composed of floaters, which transmit the energy of ocean wave motion to a facility that turns it into electricity. The system was tested over a one-year period four years ago at Jaffa Port in order to demonstrate its viability. The company's engineers will complete development of the system's second generation in the coming months at the Marin laboratory in the Netherlands and a Scottish university, with financing from Scottish government funds.
Subsidiary in Scotland
Yam Pro is part of the Shahar Energy group founded by Zeev Peretz and Laser Rothstein, which has hitherto specialized in building solar energy systems in Israel and Germany. 18 months ago, the company acquired a unique technology developed by Shmuel Ovadia and the activity of SDE and Werpo, companies founded by Ovadia to develop it.
In addition to Ghana, Yam Pro has a subsidiary in Scotland with local partners. The Scottish company has agreements with a number of ports for construction of systems on their piers. The company expects to build facilities with capacities of 63 megawatts for a total of £80 million in the next three years.
Why not in Israel?
"It's easier to raise money overseas. In Israel, they want to see projects that are already working in order to sign agreements to buy electricity," Peretz told "Globes." "In Scotland, for example, the government is trying to attract us, has financed our research, and we have a meeting there with a number of funds. Incidentally, we're not ruling out moving all of the company's activity there."
In addition to the difficulty in Israel in obtaining funding for projects of this type, there is another disadvantage - the power of the waves. Optimal energy production requires waves 1-1.5 meters high.
Waves in the Mediterranean Sea make it possible to apply the technology in Israel, but it is not as effective as in countries with an ocean shore, such as Australia and the UK.
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on December 21, 2017
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