Norwegian parliamentary deputy Nikolai Astrup and his fellow Conservative Party members Odd Henriksen and Gunnar Gundersen have proposed partial privatisation of the state-owned energy company Statkraft.
Astrup proposes carrying out an IPO to raise capital and help the company to expand further in the international market.
“We want a new debate about the ownership of the group. Statkraft can grow from being a European giant into an international giant, but it is not possible if the state continues to be the sole owner,” the national media quotes Astrup as saying.
Private owners would bring the company access to capital, expertise and flexibility, making it better equipped for the international market, according to Astrup.
Geir Pollestad from the Norwegian Centre Party has criticised the proposal and pointed out that the ruling Conservative Party and the Progress Party have previously given guarantees that Statkraft will not be privatised.
Statkraft’s CEO Christian Rynning-Tønnesen said that it is up to the owner to decide on the company’s ownership structure. He added that for Statkraft it is very important to have predictability, long-term framework conditions and capital for investments, which lay the foundation for future creation of value.
The company recently adjusted its investment plan, giving up on further investments in offshore wind projects. Statkraft said it would focus on maximising the value of existing assets and projects that it has in the offshore wind sector.
The company adjusted its investment plan since its investment capacity had been reduced as a result of a revised dividend policy from the Norwegian State.