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Investing in wind power

July 11, 2007, 09:00 CEST

Statoil signed 10 July an agreement giving the company considerable interests in technology company Sway, that has developed promising solutions for floating wind turbines in deep water.

Through the issuing of shares, the technology company has brought Statoil, Scatec and Lyse on board as new, long-term owners. The equity dilution is worth NOK 150 million with Statoil promising NOK 75 million on the proviso that Sway is able to meet agreed target milestones.

The first full-scale wind turbine is expected to be completed and installed between 2010 and 2012.

"We see great potential for energy production from sea-based wind turbines," says Ann-Elisabeth Serck-Hanssen, who heads Statoil's new energy business unit.

"Statoil is working actively with the business development of new and cleaner energy solutions. Our offshore expertise gives us a good foundation to be leading in the development of future-oriented technology and renewable energy at sea."

In addition to share interests in Sway, Statoil acquired a 14% interest in ChapDrive on 27 June, a technology company that has developed a patented system for hydraulic power transfer for wind and tidal turbines. ChapDrive has its origins from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim.

The investments in Sway and ChapDrive are Statoil's first direct investment relating to the further development of wind power technology.

Both technology companies want to develop good technical and commercial solutions contributing to significantly increased efficiency, reducing the costs of wind-produced power.

"By participating actively in the development of future-oriented wind power technology in several application areas, Statoil can strengthen its position as a future producer of wind turbine energy at sea," says Per Øyvind Hjerpaasen who heads renewable energy in Statoil new energy.

"A focus on technology, expertise development as well as development of operational experience and market positions will give Statoil a solid foundation for participation in this growth market."

According to Mr Hjerpaasen, the potential for production and allocation of profitable wind turbine energy is huge, both on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) and internationally. He emphasises that the company's focus is not only limited to the NCS. International project participation is also on the cards.