NEFCO and the Finnish company Bladefence have today signed a loan agreement related to the expansion of Bladefence’s operations in North America. Bladefence is specialised in preventive maintenance and repair services on wind turbine blades using mobile, high-level sky lifts as work platforms. The company now plans to open its first US hub in Chicago.

Bladefence’s concept of maintaining and repairing the blades represents a new way to make wind turbines more efficient and to extend the lifespan of the rotor blades without the need to invest in new components or technology, which, in turn, helps to reduce the manufacturing and logistics footprint.

Ville Karkkolainen, CEO of Bladefence North America, explains that Bladefence started its pilot operations in Canada in 2016. “We have seen significant growth in the Canadian market. As many of our existing customers operate throughout North America, this expansion is a natural evolution of our previous work. The North American wind energy market is entering a more mature state and we anticipate strong demand for our services in the future.”

The loan financing will help Bladefence to scale up its North American operations. Dennis Hamro-Drotz, Investment Manager at NEFCO, sees the potential of Bladefence’s service concept on the new market. “We are looking to facilitate the scale-up of innovative Nordic solutions on global markets in order to have a positive impact on the climate and environment. There is a lot of potential for Bladefence to grow in the US market, which is currently underserved as regards the lifecycle management of wind power turbines. Additionally, this project will contribute to more cost-efficient clean energy production.”

NEFCO is contributing a loan of EUR 2 million and Nordea Bank a loan of EUR 4 million to the expansion.

“We are pleased to partner with NEFCO, a leading Nordic green finance company, and we welcome the continued support of our valued senior financing partner, Nordea,” stated Joni Alasaari, Chairman of the Board of Bladefence Group.

For further information, please contact:

Dennis Hamro-Drotz, Investment Manager, NEFCO
dennis.hamro-drotz@nefco.fi, +358 10 6180 641

Ville Karkkolainen, CEO, Bladefence North America
ville.karkkolainen@bladefence.com, +1-416-700-0051

About Bladefence

Bladefence, established in 2010 in Helsinki, Finland, offers sophisticated methods for repair and maintenance to maximise the performance and long-term endurance of wind turbine blades. Since 2012, Bladefence has been certified by DNV-GL for wind turbine blade repairs, based on the high level of quality of its staff, work methods, materials and documentation, as well as compliance with GL certificate guidelines. Bladefence uses advanced skylift equipment and a UV-curing blade repair method in its operations. In combination, these enable operations to be carried out in harsh weather conditions with cutting-edge efficiency, and also minimise turbine downtime. Bladefence currently operates throughout Europe and North America with offices in Helsinki, Toronto and Chicago. Read more at www.bladefence.com

Photo: Bladefence