Norsepower wins Nefco funding to expand rotor sail production in China

Finland-based cleantech company Norsepower has secured financing from Nefco, the Nordic green bank, to expand the production of its auxiliary wind propulsion solution.

Tilting Norsepower Rotor Sails installed onboard VLOC Sea Zhoushan. Courtesy of Norsepower.

Norsepower’s auxiliary wind propulsion system cuts fuel consumption in vessels and helps the shipping industry become more sustainable. With financing from Nefco, the company seeks growth in Asian markets.

Norsepower’s rotor sail technology has been already installed onboard tankers, bulkers, RoRo ships and ferries. The technology has a proven average fuel savings record of 5-25%.

“Our mission is to reduce the environmental impact of shipping through the commercialisation of innovative and modern sail power. With the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) and Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) coming into effect at the start of 2023, Rotor Sails can help ship owners improve their ratings against these criteria to help future-proof their fleet,” Tuomas Riski, CEO and Partner at Norsepower, said.

“With Nefco financing, we will be able to invest in our production capabilities in Asia so that we are well-positioned to meet rising demand for our Rotor Sail technology.”

As explained, financing from Nefco will be channelled to investments in the Norsepower production hub in China. Over recent years, Norsepower has established two fully-owned subsidiaries in Hong Kong and Yancheng to respond to the growing demand in Asia.

The new financing is a continuation of cooperation with Nefco. The Yancheng subsidiary started with a feasibility study co-financed by Nopef, the Nordic Project Fund, which is a financial instrument managed by Nefco that supports international growth of Nordic SMEs.

Nordic clean technology reduces environmental impact of shipping

With a technology based on the Magnus effect, the Norsepower rotor sails allow the main engines to be throttled back, saving fuel and reducing emissions while providing the power needed to maintain speed and voyage time.

Norsepower rotor sails have several special features, which ensure their durability, safety, long lifetime, easy operations, and low maintenance costs, according to the company.

On the environmental side, the solution contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gases and other emissions, such as sulphur and nitrogen oxides and particulate matter from ships, as each rotor sail in operation directly replaces the main propulsion power that is typically derived from fossil fuels.

With typical annual fuel savings of 300 tonnes per rotor sail, avoided emission reductions are 900 t CO2/a.

“This loan agreement is a culmination of our fruitful cooperation with Norsepower. Norsepower’s modern sail technology is fascinating, and it offers one solution for the shipping industry that faces increasing cost and environmental constraints,” Helena Lähteenmäki, Investment Director at Nefco, commented.

Norsepower’s next installation is planned for later this year for CLdN, the logistics specialist for road, sea and rail, onboard a 2018-built RoRo vessel, the MV Delphine.

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