Norwegian Offshore Wind Auction Attracts More Domestic Companies

Two Norwegian investment companies have teamed up to establish an offshore wind company and compete in Norway’s upcoming licensing round.

Arendals Fossekompani ASA (AFK) and Ferd AS (Ferd) established Seagust AS to compete in the offshore wind licensing round.

Seagust Eyes Both Offshore Wind Areas

The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has opened two areas in the North Sea, Utsira Nord and Sørlige Nordsjø II, for offshore renewables including offshore wind power. Combined, the two areas allow for the development of 4,500 MW of wind power.

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As of 1 January 2021, it is possible to submit license applications for offshore wind power projects.

The authorities are currently working on the licensing process and will present the guidance for actors who wish to develop offshore wind power projects in Norway on 11 June.

Norwegian Offshore Wind Auction Attracts More Domestic Companies
Source: Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy

Seagust will consider submitting applications to develop offshore wind at both the Utsira Nord and the Sørlige Nordsjø area.

”We at AFK are proud to be joining forces for the first time with Ferd to create a Norwegian offshore wind company,” said Morten Henriksen, Executive Vice President at AFK and Chairman of Seagust.

”Together we have over 100 years of Norwegian industrial know-how from the energy sector, the financial strength, the experience and the capabilities to ensure that Seagust can succeed both domestically and internationally. With deep roots in southern Norway and a network of relevant portfolio companies along the south-western coast, we have a solid platform from which we aim to develop a regional industrial champion with a focus on collaborating with Norwegian suppliers across the value chain. We strongly believe that by further developing the Norwegian offshore wind industry, we will not only contribute to lift the Norwegian supplier industry by creating thousands of renewable energy jobs, but also support energy-intensive industry along the coast by providing them with surplus renewable power.”

AFK is a green-tech investment company that owns energy- and technology-related companies which enable the transition to a green economy. AFK is also a majority shareholder in Volue, a leading European technology company offering full digitalisation of the clean energy value-chain for renewable energy sources, such as offshore wind.

Ferd will be investing in the joint venture through its Impact Investing arm, which focuses on companies with the potential to have a positive impact on the climate and environment. Ferd Impact Investing’s portfolio includes Wind Catching Systems, which develops a disruptive concept for offshore floating wind energy. Ferd is also a 50 percent owner of Aibel, a tier-1 supplier to the international offshore wind industries, which is in in process of delivering three converter platforms with jackets for Dogger Bank.

”Ferd sees significant growth and value creation opportunities in renewable energy, and we are excited to have found a major industrial partner like AFK with a focus on long-term ownership to join us in writing this new chapter in Norwegian offshore industry history,” said Morten Borge, Chief Executive Officer at Ferd.

”We have a solid track-record of developing Norwegian companies that succeed internationally. CEO Simen Elvestad brings deep domain expertise and extensive experience from some of the world’s biggest offshore wind projects to Seagust, which will ensure that the we are well positioned to compete for acreage in the North Sea and beyond. I am confident that Seagust has what it takes to shape this new industry and unlock the vast amounts of renewable energy potential that reside offshore Norway, with minimal environmental footprint.”

Simen Elvestad has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of Seagustand assumed office on 1 June 2021. Elvestad has over 20 years of hands-on experience in international energy projects, including major offshore wind projects such as Dudgeon, Sheringham Shoal, and Creyke Beck B (Dogger Bank B)

”Decades of experience from the maritime and oil and gas industry has provided south-western Norway with a technologically advanced, world-leading service and supply industry,” said Elvestad.

”Seagust will have a clear strategy to collaborate with Norwegian suppliers across the value chain and forge alliances with foreign suppliers to facilitate knowledge transfer, position Norwegian technologies for a growing global market, and drive down costs through innovation. Norway is uniquely positioned to take a sizeable share of the rapidly growing offshore wind market, and our ambition is for Seagust to play a central role in this new industrial adventure.”

Who Else Is Competing in the Licensing Round

Seagust will face competition on the Sørlige Nordsjø II area from the Norseman Wind consortium comprising EnBW, ASKO Fornybar / NorgesGruppen and Norseman Wind; the consortium of Equinor, RWE Renewables, and Hydro REIN; and on the Utsira Nord area jointly from Equinor and Vårgrønn, a joint venture (JV) between Italy’s energy major Eni and HitecVision.

Photo: Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy