Eric Besson, French Minister for Industry, Energy and the Digital Economy, this morning visited DCNS headquarters in Paris, where he was welcomed by Patrick Boissier, the Group's Chairman and CEO.
Eric Besson declared: "Marine renewable energies offer an important industrial opportunity for France. And we intend to make the most of this opportunity ? particularly today, when conditions are right for the emergence of a tidal turbine industry. A race against the clock has begun, with major projects expected in the next few years in Scotland. When they are put out to tender, we need to be frontrunners on those projects to ensure that Europe's industrial base is established in France. That's why I am announcing today, here at DCNS headquarters, a roadmap for tidal turbine development that should also include a competitive tender within two years to exploit the tidal energy potential of the Raz Blanchard."
"Marine renewable energies offer France an exceptional opportunity to establish global industry leadership," said Patrick Boissier. "The roadmap that you have announced today, Minister Eric Besson, is a decisive step forward in this direction. DCNS is playing a driving role in the creation of a marine renewable energy industry. From 2014, France's first industrial facility to fabricate, install and maintain tidal turbines could be operational in Cherbourg, generating up to 1,000 jobs."
An agreement to allocate space in the Port of Cherbourg for this new facility was signed a few days ago by Patrick Boissier and Laurent Beauvais, Chairman of the Ports of Normandy Authority and President of the Basse-Normandie Regional Council. This accord, signed in the presence of Jean-François le Grand, President of the Manche Departmental Council, and Bernard Cazeneuve, MP, Mayor of Cherbourg, reflects the determination of the local and regional authorities to begin the necessary work as quickly as possible to exploit the tidal energy potential of the Raz Blanchard ? one of the world's most promising locations for tidal turbine installations.
The development of tidal turbine energy is based on state-of-the-art technology in which DCNS already has significant expertise. DCNS is particularly well positioned in this market through its partnership with OpenHydro, an innovative company in which DCNS has an 11% stake. Each tidal turbine is designed to produce 2 MW of electricity. A farm of 1,000 turbines could produce enough energy to power 1 million homes.
DCNS's expansion into marine renewable energies is part of its Championship growth strategy, which aims to double the Group's revenues over the period from 2010 to 2020.