Changes at Protean as founder leaves

WITH the successful deployment of its first wave energy convertor trial off the Western Australian town of Bunbury, there have been some big changes at Protean Wave Energy, with a former Woodside Petroleum senior vice president of projects coming in to help move the company forward.
Changes at Protean as founder leaves Changes at Protean as founder leaves Changes at Protean as founder leaves Changes at Protean as founder leaves Changes at Protean as founder leaves

Haydn Black

Reporter

Steve Rogers replaces Bruce Lane, the man who helped recapitalise the former Korea-focused minerals explorer as managing director.

Rogers has more than 35 years' experience, including 20 years at the helm of both public and private companies.

He has an extensive background in the energy and resource sectors and has been instrumental in the delivery of major offshore capital intensive projects, including some megaprojects.

He has been appointed to spearhead the company's strategy and lead it on its path to commercialisation of the protean system as Protean progresses towards a pilot project that attracts power purchase customers in the near term.

At Woodside he was responsible for leading the early stages of the development and commercialisation of significant LNG projects offshore Western Australia over the past four years.

More recently, as Woodside's head of projects, he was responsible for greenfield LNG projects and brownfields LNG refurbishment at the Karratha Gas Plant, as well as multiple subsea tiebacks.

Prior to Woodside he spent six years with TSX-listed Nautilus Minerals, a company that is striving to become the first in the world to successfully extract minerals such as cooper and gold from the sea floor.

He was CEO of Nautilus for four years, and helped raise over $500 million in capital and the necessary approvals for the development of the world's first deep-water sulphide resources mining operation offshore Papua New Guinea, although Solwara 1 has yet to commence production, and Nautilus's more recent funding issues mean it is to miss its 2018 start-date.

Fortunately, while Protean's Wave Energy Converter technology is still to be proven at a commercial scale, it is well on that path, and wave energy is less controversial than Nautilus's plans to mine the sea floor.

Protean said his background as an engineer in the development of offshore hydrocarbon assets and his successful delivery of profitable offshore projects will provide a strong foundation for the company as it leverages its unique technology to provide energy to global markets.

As Protean proceeds towards the front-end engineering design stage necessary for commercialisation it has agreed to terminate its contracts with technology developer Sean Moore and his company, Moore Commerce, for the consideration of $350,000 and agreement to issue 40 million ordinary shares in settlement of the termination of all entitlements and work completed to date.

As a consequence, Moore has stepped down as chief technology officer and all intellectual property has been transferred to Protean.

The company planning to proceed with further deployments of its Protean WEC during this quarter after an independent review of results is completed from the recent offshore trial, where one 30-unit array capable of generating some 45,000 watts was installed off Bunbury.

It is moving towards deploying a larger array to demonstrate commercial feasibility.

The company now has in place an expert team of advisors, including international renewable energy consulting firm EcoFin, its global partner WaveEC Offshore Renewables and a leading global engineering firm, to critique the Protean WEC technology based on the Bunbury pilot.

If the Bunbury wave farm is successful the next step will be to sell the solution globally, with the company is focused on the island nations of the Pacific, with a larger pilot being considered for the Maldives' Hanimaadhoo Island.

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