3 marine renewables specialists settle in Atlantic France: Alka Marine, Eolfi and Kopadia

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Atlantic France is the #1 French region for marine renewables and the Nantes Saint-Nazaire metropolis is particularly attractive for smart businesses. Recently, three companies came on board to develop their innovative projects in this ideal environment. Alka Marine, Eolfi and Kopadia offer services for the MRE sector: preliminary study, wind farm installation, maintenance… 

Alka Marine: an offshore support vessel to map the seabed

Dedicated to marine exploration, the start-up Alka Marine Solutions has been created by two companies. Alma Shipping (founded in 2007) is a shipowner expert in coastal operations, and Kappa Offshore Solutions (created in 2012) is a marine engineering company specialising in the collection of seismic data at sea.

Alka Marine installed an office in Saint-Nazaire in October and has recently bought its first vessel, the 37m-long Alma-Kappa. It is used to support operations in marine renewables, in particular to map the seabed in order to identify the best location for offshore wind turbines.

In Saint-Nazaire, we found a real dynamic around the offshore wind industry. Ambitions are constantly being reaffirmed for France to become the European leader in offshore wind power and for Saint-Nazaire to play a key role.

Thibaut Choquer, CEO of Kappa Offshore Solutions, on Nantes Saint-Nazaire development agency website.

Eolfi: the French pioneer company in floating wind power

Created in 2004, the company Eolfi is a member of the Shell Group. It specialises in renewable energy projects: photovoltaic solar power, onshore wind power and offshore floating wind power, a field in which Eolfi has become the French pioneer.

Eolfi is involved in several projects in the West of France. The company has for example been chosen to build a pilot wind farm in Groix & Belle-Île. A floating technology demonstrator will host three wind turbines that will generate around 100 GWh (which represents the yearly electricity consumption of 47,000 inhabitants).

Already based in Paris, Lorient, Montpellier and Marseille, Eolfi has recently decided to open a technical office in the center of Nantes. The company now has a team close to the engineering school Centrale Nantes, which has been its partner for various R&D projects and which is part of the consortium leading Floatgen, another project for a floating wind turbine demonstrator installed off the coast of Le Croisic (Atlantic France).

Atlantic France also hosts the IRT Jules Verne, the Neopolia business network and many SMEs specialising in the field of marine renewables. And also major industrials such as General Electric, which manufactures wind turbines, or the Chantiers de l’Atlantique which are at the forefront of the production of offshore electrical substations for wind farms.

Emmanuel Chanfreau, Head of Eolfi’s Nantes office, on Nantes Saint-Nazaire development agency website.

Kopadia, blue IoT to monitor marine renewables installations

Kopadia specialises in the fields of underwater industrial inspection and environmental impact measurements with submarine drones. Founded in Paris in 2017, the start-up recently opened a technical office in Nantes. It will be dedicated to marine and underwater robotics.

The innovative company is developing a €344,000 project named “Blue IoT – Eolia” which was labeled by Pôle Mer Bretagne Atlantique and financed by the Pays de la Loire region. It consists of networking underwater sensors which are required to monitor marine renewables environmental and operational parameters. The project has also recently been given awards by the French subsidiary of WPD, a German developer and operator of wind farms, and will benefit from individualised technical and/or financial support.

We chose Nantes for its business ecosystem oriented towards maritime industries, its industrial and innovative dynamic, particularly favorable to our establishment.

Thierry Grousset, Co-founder of Kopadia, on Nantes Saint-Nazaire development agency website.

See also: Top market opportunities > Marine renewable energy

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