Bombora, a wave energy technology developer, has secured a seven figure working capital facility with the Development Bank of Wales in a move that will help secure the company’s future in Wales.
Last year the company was awarded a £10.3m grant from the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government. The new working capital facility with the Development Bank will help Bombora to manage its cash flow while the grant is received over the next two years.
Bombora was established in Perth, Western Australia in 2012. The company has since set up its European headquarters at Pembroke Dock.
The company plans to use the Marine Energy Test Area off the coast of Pembrokeshire to demonstrate its 1.5-megawatt (MW) wave energy converter.
Managing director Sam Leighton said: “There’s a very strong marine energy heritage here in Wales. Three of us moved over here from Australia at the end of 2017, and Bombora has created new skilled jobs, growing the team to 21 people.
“We’ve managed to get a very experienced team in marine energy and offshore operations – enabling us to get up and running very quickly.
“For a company like ours cash is very important, and this greatly assists us in managing our business while the grant is processed.”
Bombora is backed by its Australian founders and early investors. At the end of 2017 it received a major investment from Enzen, a global energy and environment company with a base in Solihull.
Bombora’s device, called mWave, was conceived in 2007 and patented in 2012. It’s a modular system which comprises membranes in cells that rest on the seabed.
“One of the key challenges of wave energy devices is that you get storms, and in those storms, you get very large waves and they can be very destructive. If you’re on the seabed you’re protected from that,” said Leighton.
Bombora plans to place a full-scale demonstration model of mWave on the seabed for six months of testing early next year.
Once the device has completed its testing, Bombora will be looking for opportunities to sell mWave to commercial wave farm developers.
Ken Skates, Economy minister at the Welsh Government, said: “Bombora are renowned marine energy specialists, with a growing workforce here in Wales.
“This funding further demonstrates our unwavering support both to this hugely important sector and to a region that is quickly becoming genuinely world-leading in the latest, innovative marine energy technology and developments.
“As we prepare to leave the European Union, attracting and keeping such companies in Wales is more important than ever, and I’m delighted to see this funding help achieve just that.”
Matthew Wilde, assistant investment executive at the Development Bank of Wales, added: “Helping a global company secure its future in Wales is a great achievement for the Development Bank. It’s a significant investment that keeps Wales at the forefront of marine energy research, providing local, skilled jobs in Pembroke Dock.”