See ya later, Aquanator

By JURIS GRANEY

A GREEN energy technology developed in the Clarence Valley will be trialled for the Victorian Government in early October.

If all things go well for the Aquanator, developed by local inventor Michael Perry and his company Atlantis Energy Limited (AEL), they could be supplying power into Victoria by April next year.

Launched in June last year, the device converts ocean and river currents into electricity.

Soon after its unveiling, the company launched a $5.1 million capital raising enterprise to fund its development, but little had been heard of its progress since October last year, when the company extended its deadline for investors who wanted to get involved.

AEL's recently appointed executive chairman Tony Le Messurier was unwilling to disclose how much money had been raised, but said he was overjoyed at the local response.

"The support of shareholders who have backed Mick Perry has been fantastic," he said. "There has been damn good local support."

Mr Le Messurier said a total media blackout by AEL was because the device had 'created a lot of interest' in its earlier trials on the Clarence River.

"We have been careful not to get too far ahead of ourselves," Mr Le Messurier said from Phillip Island on Thursday.

"That is why we have been keeping our heads down during our negotiations with the Victorian Government."

Mr Le Messurier said the Victorians had been more 'proactive' in investigating the capabilities of the Aquanator than its NSW counterparts.

"They have been really active about trialing the Aquanator," he said.

"They are really facilitating the development of the technology and are very interested in its capabilities."

Initially flagged to be operational in Iluka by October 1, 2005, Mr Le Messurier said they had been in talks with Victoria since December and had proved more fruitful.

"There is nothing sinister in it," he said.

"We are still talking with New South Wales bodies, but the Victorian Government got very, very proactive to see what it could do."

Mr Le Messurier said a four-day trial at the 'gateway to Phillip Island', San Remo, would take place around the same time as this year's Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix on October 14.



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