Wilhelmsen has diversified into the offshore wind market by buying half of NorSea subsidiary NorSea Wind
Wilhelmsen has diversified into the offshore wind market by buying half of NorSea subsidiary NorSea Wind.
The announcement came at Nor-Shipping in Oslo.
Wilhelmsen took a majority stake (approximately 72%) in the NorSea Group in 2017, and Wilhelmsen Group chief executive Thomas Wilhelmsen said at the time they intended to expand into offshore wind. WSM and Norsea Group, both part of the Wilhelmsen group of companies, agreed in 2018 to take over technical management of TenneT’s offshore and onshore transformer stations and their electricity transmission systems.
Wilhelmsen Industrial Investments senior vice president Jan Eyvin Wang said the decision had been planned for some time and that the company would continue its expansion into new sectors and markets going forward.
“We just need to change, and there are so many opportunities we are looking at,” he said. “This has been in the pipeline for some time, and the group have done a great job. But there are other things and I think the driver is we want to be connected somehow to maritime.”
“If it’s wind or aqua or fish, whatever it may be, we feel that we have a competitive edge as a group … We don’t want to be a small player; we want to shape the maritime industry. It’s important for us to be able to influence and to make the sector better.”
Wilhelmsen did not disclose the value of the deal or financing details.
NorSea Group chief executive John Egil Stangeland said he expected a significant shift into offshore wind in the next half-decade.
NorSea Group currently has 5% of its business in renewables, with 95% in oil and gas, he said. “I’ve said, without putting too much science into it, that five years from now [the offshore wind side of the business] will be 30%.”
Having also showcased Wilhelmsen’s shore-based systems for managing autonomous ships at Nor-Shipping, Wilhelmsen Ship Management chief executive Carl Schou said technological developments from its Wilhelmsen-Kongsberg joint venture, Massterly, could feature in other areas of the group’s business in future.
“There are no concrete plans, but I can foresee it as a natural integration,” he said. “We have two dimensions, one is the fully autonomous vessel equipment management, but the equally important larger market is what type of technology are you learning about which you can apply to [other interests], and that market is much, much bigger. And our co-operation with Kongsberg allows us to move into this field.”