WA Government abandons ship on Carnegie wave energy deal

Carnegie CETO 6
Carnegie Clean Energy's CETO 6 wave energy project

The WA Government has terminated its $16 million contract with wave energy company Carnegie Clean Energy for its Albany project.

The government attributes its withdrawal to Carnegie being financially unable to complete the project, despite already receiving $2.6 million of taxpayer dollars, according to The ABC.

According to WA Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan, some of that money had been spent on research which can still be used by the University of Western Australia.

Ms MacTiernan said it was “regrettable” Carnegie, which is in a trading halt, was unable to complete the project.

“Unfortunately their circumstances have changed, for reasons outside their control,” she said.

“[Carnegie] have been unable to satisfy us they will be able to successfully complete this project even with an extended timeline.

“We have decided that we want to use that money elsewhere to drive a positive outcome. Now that doesn’t mean our minds are closed against wave technology forever and a day.”

When Carnegie released its half-year results (which were late resulting in shares being suspended from the ASX), it showed the value of Carnegies prized asset its CETO wave technology  had plummeted to $15 million, valued at $83 million in 2017.

The wave energy company is facing dire straits, being kept afloat by a $2 million loan by one of its directors, former AFL commissioner Mike Fitzpatrick. It has, according to The ABC, suffered $6 million of losses from its solar microgrid arm EMC and the departure of 30 staff in six months.

Related article: WA rides the renewable energy wave