Holland's Topell Energy aims to strengthen position in biomass torrefaction sector, raises €13M and strikes partnership agreement with U.K.'s Torftech Group
THE HAGUE, The Netherlands
June 11, 2012
– Topell Energy B.V. (“Topell”), a leader in the field of biomass torrefaction technology, announces the completion of a €13 million financing round alongside a significant strengthening of its intellectual property position.
“We are excited about Topell’s prospects because the torrefaction step is instrumental in unlocking the potential of biomass for large-scale energy production. With this investment in Topell, Yellow&Blue is further broadening its engagement in the field of clean energy production.”
Yellow&Blue Clean Energy Investment Management jointly led the funding with Topell’s existing investor, Innogy Venture Capital. Additional parties investing in the financing round include Innovatie- en Investeringsfonds Gelderland B.V., a provincial investment fund managed by PPM Oost, a Dutch regional development company, management team members and business angels.
Jules Kortenhorst, appointed CEO of Topell Energy earlier this year, explains: “Nature provides a wide diversity of biomass, which is not directly suitable as an energy source. Topell’s proprietary torrefaction technology transforms the low-grade biomass into a homogenous and energy-dense fuel, which is suitable for combustion and gasification applications. The additional financing will allow us to ramp up production at our commercial-scale demonstration plant in the Netherlands and to rapidly grow our business through the sale of additional plants.”
Topell has additionally signed a new partnership agreement with the Torftech Group from the UK, whose TORBED® reactors have been at the heart of Topell’s torrefaction process. The reactors enable gas and solids to be contacted more efficiently. The company has now secured the manufacturing rights to build and improve Torftech’s TORBED® reactors for torrefaction applications.
Topell has developed a torrefaction process, which is cost effective and enables large-scale production of densified biofuel from woody biomass. There are significant benefits associated with the use of such biofuel across the entire biomass-to-energy supply chain, including lower cost transportation and storage and more efficient conversion of biomass into heat and power. The company intends to sell its torrefaction technology solutions to biomass supply chain companies around the world.
Albert Fischer, Managing Director of Yellow&Blue Investment Management, commented: “We are excited about Topell’s prospects because the torrefaction step is instrumental in unlocking the potential of biomass for large-scale energy production. With this investment in Topell, Yellow&Blue is further broadening its engagement in the field of clean energy production.”
Crispin Leick, Managing Director of Innogy Venture Capital said: "Having supported Topell from seed funding until today, we are very pleased to see how the company has developed from a startup with an exciting idea to the best positioned technology supplier for the leading European utilities in the biomass sector. Torrefaction based on Topell’s technology has the potential to change the biomass value chain as it is known today.”
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About Yellow&Blue Clean Energy Investments
Yellow&Blue Investment Management B.V. is the management company of the independent venture capital fund Yellow&Blue Clean Energy Investments. This fund invests in development stage clean energy companies. Yellow&Blue was founded by Nuon, a major energy company (part of the Vattenfall group of companies) and is based in Utrecht in the Netherlands. www.yellowandblue.nl
About Innogy Venture Capital
Innogy Venture Capital is a fund management company specialized in renewable technologies. The company focuses on investments in European startup companies that provide solutions for CO2-neutral, renewable energy generation and storage. With a final closing size of more than €115 million the currently managed "Innogy Renewables Technology Fund I" is a leading early stage investor in this segment in Europe. The fund's sponsors are RWE Innogy and Conetwork Erneuerbare Energien. RWE Innogy pools within the German utility RWE the expertise for construction and operation of renewable energy generation assets. Conetwork Erneuerbare Energien, an investment company of Lampe Bank Group, is also focusing on renewable energy generation. www.innogy-ventures.com
IIG (Innovatie- en Investeringsfonds Gelderland B.V.) invests in projects of companies that directly contribute to energy savings, the use of renewable energy and the energy transition in the province of Gelderland. IIG is established and financed by the province of Gelderland and managed by PPM Oost. PPM Oost invests in companies with high growth potential that can positively contribute to the economic development of the eastern part of the Netherlands. With a fund size of over euro 110 million, PPM Oost has a portfolio of 155 companies. www.ppmoost.nl
About Topell Energy
Topell Energy B.V. is the leading provider of torrefaction technology solutions for the biomass supply chain. The company has developed a highly efficient scalable process to upgrade various biomass feedstocks to an efficient biofuel. The company, founded in 2008, is based in The Hague, and has built its first commercial scale plant in Duiven, the Netherlands. www.topellenergy.com
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