Offshore oil and gas company Odfjell Drilling has invested in Oceanwind AS, whose long-term objective is to own and operate what it describes as ‘harsh environment floating offshore wind turbines.’
Odfjell has nearly 50 years of offshore experience and the founders of Oceanwind have 20 years in the wind market. Together they intend to work to commercialise floating wind technology. In the longer term, Odfjell Drilling intends to achieve a controlling position in Oceanwind, subject to successful completion of the further tranches of equity in Oceanwind.
Odfjell Drilling chief executive Simen Lieungh said, “With the discovery of Ekofisk in 1969, Norwegian industry players asked themselves how to take advantage of the business opportunities ahead.
“In 1971, Rederiet Odfjell made the final investment needed to complete the first floating drilling rig design ever created in Norway. This was the beginning of what we now recognise as Odfjell Drilling.
“I believe we are in a similar situation today. Our objective is to create value for our shareholders and society by leveraging almost five decades of competence in operating floating assets in harsh environments to develop a solid concept for offshore wind, together with Oceanwind’s founders. I hope this day is the beginning of a new chapter, and another major milestone in the company’s history.”
Oceanwind founder Jon Erik Borgen and chief technology officer and co-founder Eystein Borgen said, “We are very pleased and honoured to have joined forces with Odfjell Drilling. With their long tradition and impeccable track record as a high quality operator of drilling units, it was easy for us to knock on their door.
“For many years, our goal has been to harvest green energy offshore. In 2001, as founders of Sway, we initiated new technology for floating offshore wind turbines. Almost 20 years later we have decided to enter the business of owning and operating such assets.”
Oceanwind chief executive Geirmund Aasbø said, “Odfjell Drilling is known for operating with the highest safety standards and for having a very strong and competent in-house team covering all aspects of floating asset management, including technical, operational and commercial capabilities.This meets Oceanwind’s goals as a future owner and operator of floating assets.”
Odfjell Drilling described the move as an important step in its strategy. “Reaching zero emission drilling requires an alternative to fossil fuels as a primary energy source. Oceanwind’s technology and business model can enable Odfjell Drilling to deliver energy efficient, world-class drilling operations, contributing to clients’ and our own zero carbon emission targets.”
Odfjell Drilling EVP technology and sustainability Per Lund said, “Developing solutions to connect our rigs to offshore wind installations is a possible route to zero emission drilling. With ownership in Oceanwind, we are well positioned to make it a reality.”