Chile gets marine R&D center MERIC

The government of Chile, through the Ministry of Energy and Corfo, has signed an agreement with French-based DCNS to create a marine energy research and development center in Chile.

The agreement was signed by Maximo Pacheco, Minister of Energy for Chile, Hervé Guillou, CEO of DCNS, and Eduardo Bitran, the president of Corfo, a Chilean investment and development agency.

Marine Energy Research and Innovation Center (MERIC) will be built by the consortium consisting of DCNS and Enel Green Power, Chilean Ministry of Energy’s press release reads.

Maximo Pacheco, said: “This center of excellence is in line with our goal of promoting partnership between our countries and the innovative use of our resources and also on energy efficiency. We hope this effort will allow us to consolidate our position as a regional leader in renewable energy.”

The development of the centre will cost approximately $20 mln. Chilean Ministry of Energy will provide 58 percent of fuding through Corfo over the course of eight years, according to Ministry of Energy for Chile.

Eduardo Bitran added: “Chile has excellent natural conditions for the development of energy from the seas that we must seize. Today we have a great opportunity not only to investigate tidal power, but to develop related industries and services with this technology.”

According to DCNS, during the first 8 years, the Center will gather researchers to support work related to marine resource assessment, site characterization, bio-fouling, bio-corrosion, environmental and social impact, and technology adaptation to extreme ocean conditions.

The experts will also begin to develop tools to test and adapt MRE technologies to the country’s natural conditions. MERIC will implement an innovative, integrated approach to R&D in the sector, which includes the installation of an experimental wave energy converter to serve as a ‘validation test bench’ allowing comparison of theoretical results with real world data, DCNS’ press release reads.

From 2019 onwards, MERIC is expected to have a consolidated infrastructure and experience which would allow to provide services to local and international industry who wish to test MRE technologies in the Chilean marine environment.

DCNS Group is a French-based company focused on inventing high-technology solutions to sustainably secure the sea and develop its potential.

Image: Ministry of Energy for Chile

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