Norsepower nets €28M in funding to boost production of rotor sails

Finnish cleantech company Norsepower Oy has secured €28 million in its latest funding round to scale up production and expand the reach of its fuel-saving and emissions-reducing technology, rotor sails.

Illustration; Credit: Norsepower

French asset manager Mirova, an affiliate of Natixis Investment Management dedicated to sustainable investment, led the fundraising through its impact private equity Mirova Environment Acceleration Capital fund

On a mission to decarbonise the shipping industry, Norsepower is committed to harnessing the power of the wind for large ships.

According to the company, there are currently 30,000 vessels on the water today that can benefit from its rotor sails, which highlights the opportunity to reduce CO2 emissions across the global fleet by 80 megatons on an annual basis.

The Norsepower Rotor Sail is a modernised version of the Flettner rotor. It uses a minimal amount of the ship’s electric power to rotate cylinder-shaped rotors on the ship’s deck.

Rotation together with wind generates powerful thrust, saving fuel and reducing emissions, according to Norsepower.

The rotor sail has already been used for over eight years and has 250,000 operating hours of verified performance data.

This performance data includes installations in collaboration with customers including Bore, Sea-Cargo, Scandlines, Vale, CLdN, Nippon Marine, and Socatra who have selected the firm’s rotor sails for improving fuel efficiency and reducing the emissions of their shipping operations.

The data, which shows fuel consumption savings 5-25%, or even more, has been measured and analysed independently by Lloyd’s Register, as well as ABB, NAPA, Chalmers University of Technology and VTT.

The new funding will help accelerate Norsepower’s scale of production and help to meet increasing global demand. It will also strengthen its product research & development, marketing, recruitment, and sizeable intellectual property portfolio.

“Our goal is simple – to cut the emissions of large ships by saving fuel with our proven Norsepower Rotor Sails. We are going to bring a modern spin to wind propulsion technology. We empower the industry to use our product alongside other technologies to achieve zero-carbon, cost effective sailing,” Tuomas Riski, CEO, Norsepower, said.

“With this first investment outside of France, the Mirova Environment Acceleration Capital Fund goes one step further to accelerate the scaling of innovative environmental solutions with positive impact. We are thrilled to support Norse power in their journey to empower the shipping industry towards reaching the goal of zero carbon emissions, and together play an active role in the environmental transition,” Youssef Belatar, Investment Director at Mirova, added.

Additional participants in the funding included: the Finnish Climate Fund (Ilmastorahasto), OGCI Climate Investments, Nefco – the Nordic Green Bank, Power Fund III, and Tesi.

To remind, Japanese shipping major Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and Brazilian mining giant Vale International SA have recently decided to retrofit a 200,000-ton class bulk carrier with two rotor sails produced by Norsepower.

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