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  • Portfolio News
  • 11 February 2009
  • 19 min read
  • Words: Northzone

ChapDrive develops a 5 MW hydraulic transmission for wind turbines and secures NOK 52 million (?6m) in funding

(Trondheim 11/02/2009) – ChapDrive AS secures additional funding of NOK 52 million (?6m) to finance development of a 5 MW hydraulic transmission for wind turbines.

The funding is secured through an industrial research and development agreement (IFU) between StatoilHydro, ChapDrive and Innovation Norway. The finance package includes an equity investment from the existing shareholders NorthZone Ventures, Hafslund Venture and Energy Capital Management of NOK 18 million (? 2.1m). StatoilHydro contributes NOK 15.6 million (?1.8m) from their LOOP Industrial Supplier Development program, and Innovation Norway grants NOK 18 million (?2.1m).

“This finance package secures the first phase of the development of a 5 MW ChapDrive hydraulic transmission for wind turbines expected on the market in 3 to 5 years”, says Jens Anders Jensen, CEO of ChapDrive AS, and continues “The cooperation with StatoilHydro provides us with access to valuable new industrial networks and development resources from a potential future end-user of our technology. The StatoilHydro LOOP program and the IFU-agreement with Innovation Norway facilitate a capital intensive technology development which would be difficult to finance with equity alone”.

The project will be realized over a 2 years’ period based on field test results from ChapDrive’s 225 kW and 900 kW test turbines.

“This is an important step for the development of a new generation of large multi MW wind turbines with hydraulic transmission and low top weight”, says Jens Anders Jensen, and concludes “With the ChapDrive technology we eliminate the mechanical gearbox and move the critical components from the top of the turbine down to the foundation. The result is low top weight, improved reliability and simplified maintenance providing new opportunities for reduced cost of energy.”

“The ChapDrive technology represents a potential step change in wind technology. Reducing the top weight of the wind turbine is one of the critical issues when it comes to succeeding with floating wind turbines. The StatoilHydro LOOP program is designed to support upcoming technologies with game changing potential”, says Brage Wårheim Johansen, Head of New Technology Capture in StatoilHydro.

“Renewable energy and environmental technology is a target area in Innovation Norway and offshore wind power plays an important part in that area. ChapDrive has an exciting technology which can give a break-through in development of offshore wind power, so we believe in this project”, says executive director in IN Sør-Trøndelag, Vigdis Harsvik. “We have granted an IFU-contribution of NOK 18 million, the largest contribution ever in our region. That ChapDrive has StatoilHydro as a demanding customer is increasing the possibilities for success. In a time when the word crisis is in the headlines, it is particularly exciting to stand up for a project that has this drive for further development”, says Vigdis Harsvik. “Norway needs more projects like this one, because now is the time for innovation and development of the future industries”.

Industrial research and development agreements (IFU)

Innovation Norway will in 2009 invest NOK 315 million in new IFU-agreements. The IFU-agreements shall stimulate to close collaborations between demanding customers and one or more suppliers. The agreement shall be between the customer and supplier regarding the development of a product, process or service with novelty and a large market potential. The development cost is split between the customer, supplier and Innovation Norway.

ChapDrive AS

ChapDrive is located in Trondheim, Norway and was founded in December 2006 based on research from The Department of Energy and Process Engineering at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). The company develops a patented system for hydraulic transmission in wind turbines.

StatoilHydro ASA

New energy is one of three target areas in StatoilHydro. Offshore wind power has a focus in renewable energy whereas the company is building the world’s first full-scale floating wind turbine. Through the LOOP-program StatoilHydro is supporting companies and founders with capital, networks and competence to develop new technologies related to the energy sector.
About the investors:


Northzone is a leading European venture firm specializing on technology. NorthZone has about NOK 2,5 billion (?286m) under management, and is located in Oslo, Stockholm and Copenhagen. NorthZone is currently holding more than 35 technology companies mainly originating from the Nordic area, and Northzone has been a lead investor in among others Stepstone, Nextgentel, Mamut, Funcom, Revolt Technology, Norstel and T-VIPS.

Hafslund Venture AS

Hafslund Venture is an active owner in growth companies within renewable energy, energy related technology and concepts related to the value chain in Hafslund. The total venture assets under management are more than NOK 6 billion (?686m), with 16 investments, where the photovoltaic company REC represents the largest value. By investing in external companies and utilizing competence from the Hafslund Corporation, venture represents a flexible and cost efficient way of conducting research and development with focus on profit.

Energy Capital Management AS

Energy Capital Management AS manages StatoilHydro’s Venture fond. Energy Capital Management has a total of NOK 1.2 billion (?137m) under management. Energy Capital Management invest in new clean energy solutions and collaborates closely with StatoilHydro utilizing their competence to develop future-oriented technology and market positions for renewable energy production.

NTNU Technology Transfer AS

NTNU Technology Transfer AS (TTO) is the wholly owned commercialization organ of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). TTO assists to secure that research from NTNU and St.Olav Hospital is utilized through license agreements and founding of new companies.

More information

Chairman of the board: Tellef Thorleifsson, Phone: +47 22125012 / +47 91322541

CEO: Jens Anders Jensen, Phone: +47 92276881 / +45 41292717

ChapDrive AS

Osloveien 107

7018 Trondheim, Norway