Cornish wave to energy company Orecon has joined other industry leaders in waving the flag for Great Britain at a top-level trade mission in the United States.The visit was organised by the Los Angeles and San Francisco offices of UK Trade and Investment and brought about introductions to more than 300 potential customers, research specialists and manufacturers at conferences in Washington, Portland and Oregon.
The aim of the trip was to enable British companies to promote their activities in the field of marine renewable energy to a nation that is still in the early stages of developing the technology.
Representing Orecon was Sales Manager Martin Murphy who said: “It was clear that there is a real commitment to realising the potential for sustainable energy generation in the Pacific northwest region, but that it is an industry in its infancy seeking to find its way forward given its wide portfolio of stakeholders. The UK party was very well received, the Americans showing great interest in how we are developing our own industry in the UK.”
Around ten British companies took part in the trade mission, which covered a broad spectrum of topics including technology, environmental and utility company interests.
Valuable contacts may also have been formed for the future, as Martin Murphy explained: “This trip was the first opportunity for Orecon to do some direct market research in the region and I feel that the first steps have been taken in developing business interests there. It is clear that business success will only be predicated by some form of local business partnership. Early stage contacts have been made which will be the foundation for longer term interests.”
Orecon will deploy the first of its 1.5MW buoys in the UK in the summer of 2010. Further units will be built in 2011 for deployment around the world in 2012. Final testing is currently underway with engineers declaring that so far the only surprises have been good ones.
The trip to the US brought pleasant surprises for Martin Murphy too who discovered the Orecon name was already well known to a surprisingly high number of organisations in the States.
Said Martin: “It was rewarding to know that a good number of people are aware of the work that Orecon is doing and there was certainly a recognition that the developing industry in the Pacific NW has many parallels with that in the UK, and to this end there is a willingness from both sides to gain mutual benefit from further cooperation. UKTI are keen to further the relationships and will continue to promote exchange.”