Viking Heat Engines lands important investment deal
The company also receives additional NOK 16 million from Innovation Norway and signs a long-term production agreement with AVL Schrick GmbH
At the Los Energidag in Oslo today 7 February, Managing Director John Bernander of Viking Heat Engines announced that the Company has concluded an increase in share capital in Viking Heat Engines AS. “It will allow us to produce an adequate amount of field test units of our CraftEngine to establish broad real life testing in various market segments documenting the commercial viability of the product” says John Bernander.
“It is a milestone for us to welcome AVL Schrick GmbH, the world’s largest private Engine Design Company as a shareholder and business partner in developing both the technical and commercial potential of the CrafEngine. Together with Toppen Invest AS in Grimstad, a company controlled by Einar Aas, with a wealth of experience in the Energy Sector, we believe we are well equipped to bring a novel, cost efficient and energy friendly concept to market”, says John Bernander.
Satisfied partners; Roger Wildemann from AVL Schrick (left), John G. Bernander and Tor Hodne from Viking Heat Engines, Erik Osnes from AVL MTC AB, Renato Sensi from AVL Schrick
The share capital increase is in excess of 53 million NOK, and in addition Innovation Norway decided in their last Board Meeting before Christmas to offer a grant of 16 million NOK to further the development of the CraftEngine in both the exploitation of Geothermal Heat Sources and Low Temperature Industrial waste Heat. “The strength of our partners and the support of Innovation Norway enhances the chances for success in a competitive and innovative market for new energy”, concludes an optimistic Managing Director.
Long-term agreement signed with AVL Schrick GmbH
Viking Heat Engines recently signed an important contract with AVL Schrick GmbH, which secures the necessary capacity and expertise to start mass-producing the CraftEngine in late 2013.
John G. Bernander, CEO of Viking Heat Engines, says the contract secures the technological know-how and mass production of the CraftEngine.
|CEO John G. Bernander is very satisfied with the agreement signed with CEO Roger Wildemann from AVL Schrick GmbH in Germany |
”Initially, we will test several demonstration units in different parts of the world,” he says. In the next phase, towards the end of 2013 / early 2014, we will start preparing for mass production.”
“The involvement of AVL Schrick is very important to us, both financially and prestige wise,” Bernander continues. ”It means a lot that this reputable engine company believes in our invention and our company. Their involvement is an important contribution, but we will need to team up with a few more commercial partners before we can go ahead with large-scale mass production. We're having a good dialogue with several international players and keep making big strides towards our goal.”
All CraftEngine prototypes are produced by engine design company AVL Schrick in Germany and have undergone extensive testing and modifications at its test facilities in Sweden. The factory in Germany and its 300 engineers normally develop engines for carmakers such as Mercedes, Ford and Volkswagen, and design and manufacture engines ranging from Formula 1 cars to lawn mowers. The factory has exentsive knowledge in design and construction of engines, but draws on the expertise of the worldwide AVL Group with over 4,500 employees and an annual turnover of more than € 800 million.
Innovation Norway gives NOK 16 million to CraftEngine
Viking Heat Engines AS has received a NOK 16 million grant from Innovation Norway to test and further develop the CraftEngine, which converts heat from renewable energy sources into electricity.
Lasse Leirfall, senior adviser at Innovation Norway, says that the external advisory panel that assessed Viking Heat Engine’s application strongly recommended the state-funded financier to support the project.
”CraftEngine is an innovative and unique energy efficiency project, which has the potential to do well internationally and create value for Norway,” he says. ”Those are two very important criteria for receiving this kind of grant. The allocation of 16 million to Viking Heat Engines out of a total budget of more than NOK 200 million says something about how strongly we believe in the project.”
Lasse Leirfall, Innovasjon Norge
In early 2012, Viking Heat Engines received a grant from Innovation Norway to test the use of biomass on the CraftEngine. The latest grant will be used to complete tests to optimize the use of industrial waste heat and geothermal heat.
”The CraftEngine will be manufactured in Germany, but it will be necessary to build an organization in Norway to manage the markets at home and abroad,” Leirfall says. ”Therefore, we believe that the company will create value and jobs domestically. The CraftEngine is a great invention that produces both heating and cooling, as well as electricity, and Innovation Norway thinks Viking Heat Engines AS will grow into an exciting renewable energy company”.
- What risks do you see?
”There are always risks associated with a project like this, but that's why Innovation Norway likes to get involved,” Leirfall says. ”For example, new technologies might suddenly appear that make the CraftEngine less attractive. But we believe in the project, and that’s why we’re willing to take the risk. Viking Heat Engines could of course realize the project without us, but then it would undoubtedly have taken longer and, with inventions like the CraftEngine, it’s crucial to be first on the market.”
- Will Innovation Norway continue to support the venture in the future?
”If the company succeeds in this phase and our contribution turns out to be a good investment, we may continue to support the project,” Leirfall says. ”If it needs more support, we will probably provide loans together with the shareholders and support the establishment of a national organization as well as finance the international processes.”
John G. Bernander, CEO of Viking Heat Engines, is very pleased about the grant. ”Innovation Norway’s slogan ’We give local ideas global opportunities,’ is something we endorse and believe we can live up to,” he says.