A wave energy development deal has been signed by Ocean Power Technologies and the Leighton construction group to build plants off the coast of Australia.

The partners are to identify and assess potential sites for wave energy projects off the east and south coasts of Australia.

The pact has been signed by subsidiaries of the businesses – Ocean Power Technologies (Australasia) Pty Ltd and Leighton Contractors Pty Ltd.

Under the deal, Australian group Leighton will carry costs of obtaining approvals, negotiating power purchase agreements, structure the project finance, and oversee the delivery and operation of plants. It will set up special purpose companies for each plant.

US firm Ocean Power Technologies will sell its PowerBuoy system to the special purpose companies for use in projects. The firm said the deal was in line with its strategic plan to form alliances in key regions.

The energy technology developer already has projects underway in the UK and Spain.