Des Crampton, South African boss of green energy hopeful Checkmate Group, is hoping that broker Brewin Dolphin will help his company raise a pre-float £6 million to build the biggest rubber tube ever made. Checkmate has the rights to the ‘Anaconda’ system, which can transfer energy of waves through an underwater tube into a shoreline turbine for conversion into usable electricity, and Crampton wants to make a full-scale prototype to demonstrate its potential.
An engineer with experience at South Africa’s Anglo American conglomerate and Highveld Steel and a former chief engineer at Sheerness Steel and director of Mersey Docks in Britain, Crampton is working with Checkmate chairman Paul Auston, an ex-mariner with wide knowledge of maritime and cargo lifting.
His aim is to commercialise the proprietary Anaconda technology, invented by Rod Rainey, visiting professor at University College London and Southampton University and an expert on floating offshore structures, and experimental physicist Professor Francis Farley, who has worked on wave energy for 35 years.
According to Crampton, Checkmate has devised a unique mechanism for putting wave energy into rubber tubes, which has been tested in Scoltand and has won backing from the Carbon Trust. He claims it will prove much cheaper than any rival schemes and will not necessarily depend on the frequency of big waves and rough seas.
If he and Brewin can conjure the initial £6 million from investors, the plan is to raise £18 million in a public float to make Anaconda wave power a profitable player.