Irish company Ocean Energy, which designs turbines capable of converting wave power into electricity, has signed a major development deal with a US multinational.

Ocean Energy's CEO John McCarthy said the agreement with Dresser-Rand would significantly develop wave energy in Ireland and should lead to the creation of thousands of jobs.

Mr McCarthy said Dresser-Rand would both develop and supply turbines.

Ocean Energy, like another Irish company Wavebob, has been leading the charge internationally to design turbines that can turn wave power into electricity, although a full-scale unit has yet to be tested.

Dresser Rand, which has a market capitalisation of $2.5bn, said capturing just 5% of the global wave power resource could satisfy a quarter of the world's current electricity consumption.