Reclusive Norwegian shipping magnate Fredrik Olsen appears to have taken an interest in the province's ocean energy potential. Earlier this year, the government issued 25 permits to Fred. Olsen Marine Renewables Ltd. allowing the company "to investigate the development" of tidal power projects at locations across British Columbia.
In an email to Public Eye, agriculture and lands communications director Liz Bicknell explained, "The number of sites is high because of the nature of this type of IPP; the probability that all the sites will be feasible for generating tidal power will be extremely low and it is not inconceivable that none of the sites will be found to be feasible."
The firm applied for those permits using its company number rather than its name. According to the corporate registry, Fred. Olsen Marine Renewables directors include United Kingdom residents Jeremy Dowler and Stuart Henderson Hall, as well as Mark Rogers - a Vancouver-based business manager with Natural Power Consultants Ltd. Mr. Rogers hasn't returned a call, placed earlier this week, seeking comment. Natural Power Consultants has developed wind farms in the United Kingdom on behalf of Fred. Olsen Renewables Ltd.