Royal Dutch Shell’s venture capital arm has made a major investment in a producer of maritime energy storage solutions (ESS)
Shell Ventures has acquired an undisclosed stake in Corvus Energy, a developer and supplier of lithium-ion battery ESSs.
Corvus has supplied ESSs to reduce fuel consumption and emissions for more than 30 offshore support vessels, subsea applications and elsewhere.
“The energy sector is going through a major transition as the trend towards renewable generation and electrification of many sectors accelerates,” said Shell Ventures investment director Kirk Coburn.
“Current hybrid and zero-emissions projects have proven that the potential for reducing costs and cutting emissions are substantial, which Shell will take advantage of in its offshore operations,” he added.
The investment is part of Shell’s goal of decreasing the carbon footprint of its energy products by roughly 20% by 2035 and 50% by 2050.
Corvus chief executive Geir Bjørkeli said “To have Shell on board as an investor means we can reach out to a much larger market and apply our technology to more rigs and platforms as well as continue the hybridisation of offshore vessels.”
Mr Bjørkeli added that by working with energy companies such as Shell and Equinor, Corvus can better understand their needs and develop tailormade solutions according to vessel types.
He noted that vessels involved in DP operations are particularly well-suited to ESS installations to replace generators for backup power.
This not only reduces vessel emissions, it also results in reduced maintenance and fuel costs for the vessel.
The value of the investment has not been disclosed but was described in a press release as ‘major’. While an exact stake size has not been given, it will be below 20% and comparable to those held by existing large investors in Corvus, which include BW Group, Equinor and Norsk Hydro.
Mr Bjørkeli will share the lessons Corvus has learned from more than 200 ESS installations along with case studies and details of recent innovations in energy storage systems as a speaker at the Maritime Hybrid & Electric Conference in Bergen on 4-5 September. Delegates can take part in a site visit to Corvus Energy’s facilities following the event.