Norway’s Aker Solutions is launching a series of structural and strategic changes that will transform the company
Aker Solutions is to spin-off its offshore wind business and its carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) interests into two separate companies, which will trade on the Merkur Market and the Oslo Stock Exchange and merge the remainder of the company with fellow Norwegian company Kvaerner.
Kjetel Digre will become chief executive of Aker Solutions, effective 1 August 2020, and will lead the combined company. Astrid Onsum will become chief executive of Aker Offshore Wind. Mr Digre joins from Aker BP, where he held the role of senior vice president of operations and asset development.
Aker Solutions chairman Øyvind Eriksen said, “Aker Solutions has developed technology and taken strong positions in the markets for offshore wind and CCUS.
“It has become increasingly clear that these businesses represent value creation opportunities in a world transitioning to green solutions at accelerated speed and have more potential as stand-alone companies than as an integrated part of an oil service business.
“Renewables and green technology have entirely different value chains, customers, investor bases and sources of funding. Capitalising on and separating the offshore wind and CCUS business areas presents a unique opportunity for growth and value creation.”
Aker Solutions will be an alliance partner and preferred supplier to both companies to create revenue and customer value within the wind and CCUS markets and the pureplay wind company will draw on the offshore development expertise of the Aker group.
Aker Offshore took an early position in the emerging market for floating wind, and currently holds ownership stakes in ongoing development prospects in the US and South Korea, while evaluating other markets such as Norway and the UK.
“Realising large wind projects is capital intensive and a stand-alone entity will have financial flexibility to raise required capital,” said Aker Solutions. The company intends to carry out a private placement in Aker Offshore Wind to secure sufficient funding for the next phase of the development of this portfolio.
In a presentation about the changes at the company, Aker Solutions said it sees floating offshore wind as a “significant market opportunity requiring investment and dedicated focus”.
It said the spin-off will create shareholder value and access to growth funding. It noted that 80% of offshore wind resources are in water deeper than 60 m, creating a significant market for floating wind. It also highlighted the superior capacity factors for floating wind compared to conventional bottom-fixed offshore wind.
The merger between Kvaerner and Aker Solutions will create a new company with a stronger position as an execution partner, enabling what the companies described as “sustainable, low-carbon oil and gas production, and accelerating growth in renewable energy industries.”
“By combining the two companies and their complementary resources, we will be able to deliver a more complete offering to a global energy industry,” said Kvaerner chairman Leif-Arne Langøy, who has been proposed as the new chairman of Aker Solutions.
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