Power Generation

Rolls-Royce strengthens growth opportunities with Kinolt Acquisition

Posted on 17 July 2020

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  • Strenghtens Rolls-Royce’s market position in safety-critical applications with a leader in dynamic uninterruptible power supply
  • Completes Rolls-Royce’s product offering and accelerates the strategy of offering integrated solutions
  • Acquisition expected to deliver cost and revenue synergies, and help support medium-term profitability and create long-term shareholder value

Rolls-Royce is strengthening its business in power supply for safety-critical systems with the completion of the acquisition of Kinolt S.A., a Belgian-based specialist in dynamic uninterruptible power supply. Rolls-Royce is already a leading provider of back-up power generation through its Power Systems business with its product and solutions brand MTU. This market has remained a growth area during the Covid-19 pandemic and is expected to grow in the coming years as customers look to further minimize their risk of disruption.

Uninterruptible power supply systems are used wherever stable electricity is required or a power failure would be extremely harmful, for example within data centres, hospitals or manufacturing facilities which operate sensitive processes. This acquisition is another important step on the strategic journey of Power Systems towards becoming a full-service provider of integrated solutions. Kinolt’s uninterruptible emergency power supply technology is particularly well suited to applications where space is at a premium, such as urban areas or installations in existing buildings and complements Rolls-Royce’s own MTU branded solutions for large scale and greenfield sites. As a result, the deal is expected to result in cost and revenue synergies, medium-term long-term shareholder value in the back-up power generation business.

Andreas Schell, CEO of Rolls-Royce Power Systems, said: “The extraordinary times created by the Covid-19 pandemic have shown just how important it is to secure electricity supply to sensitive and critical infrastructure. The provision of uninterruptible power is vital in any situation and even more so today, as it ensures the provision of vital services such as medical care or the world’s continued flow of internet traffic. Without it, no public authority or company would be able to act in any crisis."

The demand for uninterruptible power solutions is expected to remain strong in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. The acquisition of Kinolt will give Rolls-Royce a market-leading solution for businesses and local authorities who experienced issues with supply, or do not wish to run the risk again.

“We originally signed the deal to acquire Kinolt before the full global impact of Covid-19 was apparent,” added Schell. “Since then we have rigorously examined the rationale for the transaction and the opportunities it presents to our business and concluded that the arguments in favour of the acquisition are even stronger than before.”

Power Generation is already the top-selling segment within the Power Systems business. In the future it is expected to be the only manufacturer in the world able to supply customers with all components and consequently a complete uninterrupted power generation system in the power range from 200 to 3,200 kVA. Kinolt's technology consists of a combination of rotating, kinetic mass storage devices, a diesel engine and a generator that can also be used as an electric motor. MTU engines from Rolls-Royce are often already used within Kinolt’s solutions. The Kinolt system is connected between the external power supply system and safety-critical equipment and supplies the latter with the required electrical power during normal operation. The grid frequency and voltage are generally more stable than the grid of public power suppliers. This is necessary because data servers, computer-controlled systems or sensitive devices such as those in hospitals can fail in the event of voltage and frequency fluctuations. In the case of a power failure, the flywheel mass accumulator ‘bridges’ the first few seconds before the diesel engine takes up the load.

"We will integrate the products and systems of our new subsidiary into our MTU product portfolio,” said Andreas Görtz, Vice President of Power Generation at Rolls-Royce. “Our worldwide sales and service network will open up new market opportunities by offering innovative uninterruptible power solutions. This will significantly strengthen our market position in safety-critical applications."

Kinolt is based in the town of Grâce-Hollogne in the Belgian province of Liège and was known as Euro-Diesel until mid-2019. The transaction was completed on 1 July 2020 following the approval of antitrust authorities.

About Rolls-Royce Holdings plc

1.     Rolls-Royce pioneers cutting-edge technologies that deliver clean, safe and competitive solutions to meet our planet’s vital power needs.

2.     Rolls-Royce Power Systems is headquartered in Friedrichshafen in southern Germany and employs more than 10,000 people. The product portfolio includes MTU-brand high-speed engines and propulsion systems for ships, power generation, heavy land, rail and defence vehicles and for the oil and gas industry as well as diesel and gas systems and battery containers for mission critical, standby and continuous power, combined generation of heat and power, and microgrids. Medium-speed engines from Bergen power ships and power generation applications.

3.     Rolls-Royce has customers in more than 150 countries, comprising more than 400 airlines and leasing customers, 160 armed forces, 70 navies, and more than 5,000 power and nuclear customers.

4.     Annual underlying revenue was £15.3 billion in 2019, around half of which came from the provision of aftermarket services.

5.     In 2019, Rolls-Royce invested £1.45 billion on research and development. We also support a global network of 29 University Technology Centres, which position Rolls-Royce engineers at the forefront of scientific research.

Wolfgang Boller Spokesman Regional and Business Media
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