Ocean Power Tumbles After Canceling Australia Wave Project

Jul 15, 2014 5:22 pm ET

(Updates with closing share price in second paragraph.)

July 15 (Bloomberg) -- Ocean Power Technologies Inc., a producer of systems that produce electricity from the motion of waves, fell to the lowest on record after canceling plans to build a renewable-energy project off the Australian coast.

Ocean Power tumbled 23 percent to $1.18 at the close in New York, the lowest since its U.S. initial public offering in 2007.

The company’s Australian unit Victorian Wave Partners halted plans to deploy its PowerBuoys off the coast of Victoria, and said the A$232 million ($217 million) project isn’t “commercially viable,” according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission after the close of regular trading yesterday.

Ocean Power will return the A$5.6 million it received as part of an A$66.5 million grant from the Australian government to support the project.

The company, based in Pennington, New Jersey, last month fired Chief Executive Officer Charles Dunleavy, according to a June 10 SEC filing. He was terminated “for cause” and received no severance. David Keller, a director, was named interim CEO.

At the same time Ocean Power initiated an internal investigation related to Victorian Wave Partners’s relationship with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. It didn’t provide details on Dunleavy’s termination or why it was looking into the Australia project.

Craig Mychajluk, an Ocean Power spokesman who works for Kei Advisors LLC, a provider of investor-relations services for small companies, said today he couldn’t comment beyond information contained in the filings.