SIMEC Atlantis finds new chairman


SIMEC Atlantis, marine energy innovators worldwide as well as converters of a Welsh coal power station, have chosen their probable new chairman.

Subject to shareholders’ agreement, Duncan Black (right), the firm’s former finance chief and a director for four years to 2015, will replace current postholder John Neill CBE.  

In consequence of demands from his other business interests, Neill recently told investors he would stand down after eight years, effective from next month’s annual general meeting, 

Neill has chaired SIMEC Atlantis through recent significant achievements, including persuading Japan’s all-powerful industry ministry METI to certify its AR500 submarine turbine, now in full generation off the Goto islands near Nagasaki.    

Among other project making successful progress under Neill is the firm’s revival of a former coal-fired power station at Uskmouth, south Wales.  The company has converted the plant to burn pellets derived from plastic waste in furnaces totalling 220 MW in output and provided by Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems.  

Both marine turbines and ‘second-life’ conversion of coal-fired power stations offer exciting prospects for international deployment and sales, the firm believes. 

Duncan Black’s likely appointment was announced to London investors this week. Last October he re-joined the board of the Edinburgh-based, London-quoted, Singapore-incorporated green energy combine. 

Asia has been Black’s base for over 20 years. He is currently engaged there in developing wind and solar projects.  His experience in Asian power spans project development, commercial finance and investment banking.  

His CV includes spells co-heading infrastructure investment for the Prudential,  head of Asian acquisitions at Deutsche Bank’s infrastructure management fund, and CFO of an Australian electricity and gas utility business. 

He has degrees in Civil Engineering and a doctorate in fluid dynamics, both from Imperial College, London. 


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