DSM invests in Wind Propulsion Comany Skysails

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Financial details of the investment by DSM Venturing in SkySails will not be disclosed.

Netherlands, [WorldofRenewables.com]

DSM Venturing, the corporate venturing unit of Royal DSM N.V., announced today that it has made an investment in Germany-based SkySails GmbH & Co. KG (SkySails), the market and technology leader for automated towing kite systems for ships. The investment is fully in line with DSM’s strategic commitment to sustainability, innovation and partnerships, as outlined in its corporate strategy – DSM in motion: driving focused growth.

Financial details of the investment by DSM Venturing in SkySails will not be disclosed. (The investment is part of a SkySails round of financing which has now been successfully completed and with a total volume of € 15 million was the highest CleanTech venturing investment in Germany in 2010.

SkySails develops, produces and sells wind propulsion systems for the marine industry which are based on large automated towing kites. Depending on the prevailing wind conditions, a ship’s average annual fuel costs and emissions can be reduced by 10 to 35% by using the SkySails Kite System. Under optimal wind conditions, fuel consumption can temporarily be cut by up to 50%. The reduced fuel consumption leads to significantly reduced costs and lower emissions that helps safeguard the environment.

The venturing participation is a next step in the cooperation between the two companies. To date DSM Dyneema, SkySails and rope manufacturer Gleistein have been combining their expertise in a three party technology partnership focused on the development of a special high performance rope which delivers the unique blend of high strength, light weight and excellent durability required for wind propulsion systems. DSM’s Dyneema®, the world’s strongest fiber™, is a key enabling component in the SkySails Kite System.

Gerard de Reuver, President DSM Dyneema said: “We are very pleased to extend our involvement with SkySails. With the development of its advanced kite based system, the company succeeded in establishing itself as a leader in the commercialization of wind propulsion solutions. I’m confident that the increased cooperation between our companies will lead to more sustainable innovations developed around SkySails’ core technology for various other markets.’

Stephan Wrage, Managing Director of SkySails added: “DSM Venturing’s investment is further proof of its belief in our activities. Both DSM and SkySails are highly committed to sustainability. Their support will help us to maximize the potential of our technology for our customers.”

The investment in SkySails brings DSM Venturing’s portfolio of current, direct investments to a total of 18.

DSM Venturing

DSM Venturing is an active investor in start-up companies that create innovative solutions in Life Sciences and Materials Sciences. DSM Venturing’s mission is to explore emerging markets and technologies in order to support DSM’s innovation and growth strategy. Besides financial support, DSM Venturing supports the start-up companies with DSM’s knowledge, resources and networks in order to establish mutual benefits and learning. To DSM, venturing is an integral part of its open innovation approach, focused on teaming up with innovative players all over the world. For more information about DSM Venturing see www.dsm-venturing.com.

About SkySails

The Hamburg-based company SkySails GmbH & Co. KG is the market and technology leader for automated towing kite systems. Its internationally patented wind propulsion system for cargo ships – the SkySails-System – can reduce the fuel consumption of a cargo vessel by 10 to 35% on annual average, depending on the prevailing wind conditions. The SkySails-System can be installed as an auxiliary wind propulsion on virtually all existing and new build ships. According to the UN body IMO (International Maritime Organisation) the SkySails technology has the potential to save approx. 100 million tons of CO2 per year – this corresponds to ca. 11% of Germany’s CO2 emissions. For more information, visit www.skysails.com.

About DSM Dyneema

DSM Dyneema is the inventor and manufacturer of Dyneema®, the world’s strongest fiber™. Dyneema® is an Ultra High Molecular Weight PolyEthylene (UHMWPE) fiber that offers maximum strength combined with minimum weight. It is up to 15 times stronger than quality steel and up to 40% stronger than aramid fibers, both on weight for weight basis. Dyneema® fiber floats on water and is extremely durable and resistant to moisture, UV light and chemicals. The applications are therefore more or less unlimited. Dyneema® is an important component in ropes, cables and nets in the fishing, shipping and offshore industries. Dyneema® is also used in safety gloves for the metalworking industry and in fine yarns for applications in sporting goods and the medical sector. In addition, Dyneema® is also used in bullet resistant armor and clothing for police and military personnel.

UHMWPE fiber from DSM Dyneema is produced in Heerlen (The Netherlands) and in Greenville, North Carolina (U.S.A.). DSM Dyneema is also a partner in a high modulus polyethylene (HMPE) manufacturing joint venture in Japan. Further information on DSM Dyneema is available at www.dyneema.com.

DSM – the Life Sciences and Materials Sciences Company Royal DSM N.V. creates solutions that nourish, protect and improve performance. Its end markets include human and animal nutrition and health, personal care, pharmaceuticals, automotive, coatings and paint, electrical and electronics, life protection and housing. DSM manages its business with a focus on the triple bottom line of economic performance, environmental quality and social responsibility, which it pursues simultaneously and in parallel. DSM has annual net sales of about € 8 billion and employs some 22,700 people worldwide. The company is headquartered in the Netherlands, with locations on five continents. DSM is listed on Euronext Amsterdam. More information: www.dsm.com.

Dyneema® and Dyneema®, the world’s strongest fiber™ are trademarks of Royal DSM. Use of these trademarks is prohibited unless strictly authorized.

All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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