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Wind of Change: Norsepower secures €28 million from investors to bring sails back to shipping

c: Scandlines

Norsepower Oy Ltd., the leading global provider of mechanical sails for large ships, has successfully secured 28 million euros in its latest Series C fundraising round.

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*.

Additional participants in the round included TheFinnish Climate Fund (Ilmastorahasto), OGCI Climate Investments, Nefco – The Nordic Green Bank, Tesi, and Power Fund III. With a focus on impact, these organisations have joined forces to enable Norsepower to scale up production and expand the reach of its fuel-saving and emissions-reducing technology.

On a mission to decarbonise the shipping industry, Norsepower is committed to harnessing the power of the wind for large ships. According to Norsepower, there are currently 30,000 vessels on the water today that can benefit from award-winning Norsepower 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. The Norsepower Rotor Sail™️ 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. The product has already been used by customers for over eight years and has 250,000 operating hours of verified performance data acquired from some of the world’s best-known shipping companies and charterers. This performance data includes installations in collaboration with customers including Bore, Sea-Cargo, Scandlines, Vale, CLdN, Nippon Marine, and Socatra who have selected Norsepower 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, one shipping’s leading providers of classification, compliance and consultancy services to the marine and offshore industries, as well as ABBNAPAChalmers University of Technology and VTT.

Provided as a combination of equity financing and loans, the breadth and scale of the investment round, combined with the increased participation of existing investors, signals a clear vote of confidence in Norsepower’s ability to deliver on its objectives. The new funding will help accelerate Norsepower’s scale of production and help to meet increasing global demand. It will also strengthen Norsepower’s product research & development, marketing, recruitment, and sizeable intellectual property portfolio.

In addition to Mirova, the other notable participants in the round include:

  • The Finnish Climate Fund (Ilmastorahasto): a Finnish state-owned special-assignment company combating climate change, boosting the low-carbon industry, and promoting related digitalisation.

  • OGCI Climate Investments: an existing Norsepower investor. It has a portfolio of cutting-edge innovations that has already delivered over 30 million tons of capital efficient GHG emissions reduction

  • Nefco – the Nordic Green Bank: an international financial institution, owned by the five Nordic countries, that accelerates the green transition by financing the initial scale-up of Nordic green solutions on global markets. To date, more than 600 Nordic growth companies have received financing from Nefco.

  • Power Fund III: a 77 million euros fund by VNT Management with a focus on clean technology. Major investors include the European Investment Fund and Finnish institutions. Power Fund III is an existing investor in Norsepower.

  • Tesi: Tesi is a Finnish state-owned investment company that invests in venture capital and private equity funds and directly in Finnish start-ups and growth companies. Tesi is also an existing investor in Norsepower.

Commenting on the funding, Tuomas Riski, CEO, Norsepower, said: 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. With over 30,000 vessels globally that can benefit from our product, our scale-up ambitions are bold but realistic. It’s a win-win for everyone, including the planet.

The additional funding from one of the world’s leading sustainability investors is a massive leap in the right direction and a clear vote of confidence in our brilliant team, innovative technology, and the overall trajectory of our business.”

Youssef Belatar, Investment Director at Mirova, 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 Norsepower 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.”

Paula Laine, CEO at The Finnish Climate Fund (Ilmastorahasto), said, “The world needs to limit greenhouse gases as soon as possible to combat climate change, and decarbonising hard-to-abate sectors such as shipping will play a key role. Shipping faces international regulatory and public pressure to adopt more sustainable practices, and we recognise the importance of technology in tackling this challenge and Norsepower’s rotor sails are an immediately available solution, especially for emissions-intensive ocean tankers. A key factor in our decision-making is impact and Norsepower’s ability to cut CO2 emissions by 5-25 % or even more in good wind conditions.”

Iain Fergusson, a Board member of Norsepower and General Counsel of Climate Investments, added: “There’s a pressing need to facilitate more deployments and funnel investment into decarbonising shipping where, as Norsepower is demonstrating that innovation is already delivering meaningful fuel and emissions savings for global operators. We are delighted to expand our backing of Norsepower and look forward to driving further adoption, expansion, and impact.”

*Mirova Environment Acceleration Capital is a French limited partnership (société de libre partenariat- French Specialized Professional Fund, AIF) composed of several separate sub-funds, open to new subscription to eligible investors as defined by the fund’s regulation. Mirova is the management company. The supervisory authority approval is not required for this fund. The fund is exposed to risk of capital loss risk, discretionary management risk, valuation risk, counterparty risk, liquidity risk, sustainability risk,country risk, operational risk, regulatory risk, currency risk, interest rate risk, credit risk, risk linked to the investment strategy, sustainability risk. 

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