UK tycoon Sanjeev Gupta's GFG Alliance to buy stake in tidal power developer Atlantis
15 December 2017
GFG Alliance is to buy a significant stake in Atlantis Resources, a tidal power developer, with a view to building a larger renewable power group that would help to fuel its factories.
After the UK government's refusal to support the Meygen tidal energy project in September, metals tycoon Sanjeev Gupta has provided a much needed boost for the project which could have huge significance.
Atlantis Resources needed support for a massive expansion of Meygen which could put Scotland at the forefront of a major global industry, costs weighed on the ministers who turned down its request on grounds of cost.
With Aquamarine Power and Pelamis' wave power businesses ending up in administration, the emerging marine energy sector has suffered a reverse, according to commentators.
But Gupta has stood with Meygen by agreeing to combine his family's SIMEC renewable energy business with Atlantis.
According to commentators, the move indicates Gupta is confident the government would, in the end decide to support Meygen. They point out that as Gupta family's interests include the Liberty House metals business and Wyelands Bank, he may be able to help Atlantis cut the cost of developing Meygen.
Gupta has acquired an aluminium smelter, steel mills and hydro power plants in Scotland under a plan to use renewable energy to help boost the profitability of metals production.
Atlantis Resources which was formed to develop tidal energy projects in 2005, employs 65 people, with the bulk at its headquarters in Edinburgh.
Atlantis' Meygen scheme in the Pentland Firth off the north coast of Scotland is one of the most advanced tidal power projects in the world and has been generating electricity since last year. According to Tim Cornelius, chief executive of Atlantis, Meygen was one of the reasons GFG was attracted to the business.
GFG, a £7.5-billion turnover consortium with interests around the world in steel, commodities and energy, has been making heavy investments in the UK in recent years with the acquisition of steel plants from Tata, industrial sites and renewables assets in England, Scotland and Wales.
According to GFG much of its industrial activity in the UK could be powered from renewable sources, ushering in a more environmentally friendly era of heavy manufacturing.