Global energy company Eni has formed a joint venture company, Vårgrønn, to address the fast-growing renewable energy market in the Nordic region and intends to pursue opportunities to invest in offshore wind in Norway
The JV with HitecVision has an ambition of reaching an installed capacity in the region of 1 GW by 2030. As a first step, the company will pursue opportunities in offshore wind, supporting sister company Vår Energi’s ambition to reduce climate emissions through electrifying its upstream assets. Eni-owned Vår Energi is one of the largest exploration and production companies on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
The company will be owned 69.6% by Eni and 30.4% by HitecVision. HitecVision manages six active private equity funds with a total committed capital base of US$6.6Bn.
In a statement, the companies said Vårgrønn marks the start of a broader strategic co-operation between Eni and HitecVision.
Vårgrønn aims to play a major role in the development, construction, operation and financing of renewable energy projects in Norway. As a first step, the company will pursue opportunities in the offshore wind sector by participating in the upcoming Norwegian tender process for offshore licences.
Olav Hetland, formerly responsible for offshore wind activity at Statkraft, has been appointed chief executive of Vårgrønn. “We look forward to being part of a new market for offshore wind in Norway, using the skills and experience built over decades in the Norwegian oil and gas sector,” Mr Hetland said.
Eni chief operating officer energy evolution Massimo Mondazzi said, “This new joint venture is part of Eni’s overall strategy for decarbonisation and contributes to the progression of our transformation path towards green energy and the circular economy.
“Offshore wind projects offer Eni the opportunity to further develop our offshore competencies, deploy innovative technologies and promote digitalisation in the renewable energy chain.”
HitecVision chief executive and founding partner Ole Ertvaag said, “As a global leader in offshore operations and a major energy nation, Norway is in a position to develop a leading offshore wind industry and unlock significant value creation. We see this opportunity as an attractive investment case.”
HitecVision said allowing companies to submit licence applications for offshore renewables was an important step by the Norwegian Government towards creating a domestic offshore wind industry.
HitecVision is the largest private sector investor in the Norwegian oil and gas industry and has announced an ambition of also becoming a major contributor to the energy transition.