A failed wave energy generator is to be converted into an artificial reef.

In March 2014, a $7 million Oceanlinx wave power unit partially sunk off Carrickalinga — south of Adelaide.

It was intended to be tugged out into the ocean to harvest electricity from the motion of the ocean, but the airbags it was floating on deflated, leaving it stuck partially submerged.

In the years since, it has come to be seen as a 3,000-tonne eyesore that is off limits to water users.

The SA Government put the job of removing the top part of the unit out to tender.

The tender calls for a contractor to “remove all materials above the submerged deck level … except for the existing steel crane base and the concrete base on which the crane is mounted”.

Warning lights are to be installed around the concrete structure that will stay below the surface.

Infrastructure Minister Stephan Knoll said the plan to turn it into a reef is the “best balanced option” that will “promote fish life in and around that area”.

The expected cost of the project will be in the “many, many hundreds of thousands of dollars”, he said.

“We took the decision that the best approach was to get rid of the eyesore above the water, keep the structure that's below the water for fish and other marine life, and then make sure the appropriate safety beacons are in place,” Mr Knoll said.