Finnish auxiliary wind propulsion systems’ provider Norsepower has secured a EUR 8 million (USD 8.8 million) investment that would support the expansion of the company’s Rotor Sail technology.
The investment round was led by OGCI Climate Investments, along with current investors.
As explained, the investment enables Norsepower to scale up production at its manufacturing facilities as part of a next phase of commercialization triggered by demand for its renewable wind energy propulsion systems.
The increased take-up comes at a time when the international shipping industry looks to offset expensive fuel costs – that are likely to increase following the IMO’s 2020 global sulphur cap – and prepare for IMO GHG emissions targets in 2030 and 2050.
“We are very excited to be partnering with OGCI Climate Investments on this initiative, which will leverage the expertise and capabilities of both organisations to scale our Rotor Sail Solution,” Tuomas Riski, CEO, Norsepower, commented.
“Importantly, this partnership will also allow Norsepower to deliver cleaner solutions for the oil tanker market as it strives to increase sustainability and decarbonise in its role as a critical vehicle for the world economy.”
“Improving energy efficiency is fundamental to reducing carbon emissions. Norsepower’s Rotor Sail technology is an … immediately available solution that improves vessel efficiency, reducing fuel consumption. We look forward to working with Norsepower to deliver real impact to the shipping sector’s CO2 emissions,” Pratima Rangarajan, CEO of OGCI Climate Investments, said.
The solution, which can be installed on new vessels or retrofitted on existing ships without off-hire costs, is a modernized version of the Flettner rotor – a spinning cylinder that uses the Magnus effect to harness wind to propel a ship. The solution is fully automated and senses whenever the wind is strong enough to deliver fuel savings, at which point the rotors start automatically – optimising crew time and resource.
To date, Norsepower’s Rotor Sails have been installed onboard three vessels, including Bore’s M/S Estraden, a 9,700 dwt RoRo carrier, Viking Line’s M/S Viking Grace, an LNG–fueled cruise ferry, and Maersk Tanker’s 110,000 dwt Maersk Pelican. Norsepower has also started the installation of a Rotor Sail to a hybrid ferry owned by Danish shipping company Scandlines.
Since its establishment in November 2012, Norsepower has raised more than USD 24 million of funding. In addition to OGCI Climate Investments, European venture capital funds and private investors, Norsepower has been funded by the European Commission and the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation.