EnvironmentEuropeOffshore Wind

Shipping major Wilhelmsen switches focus to renewables

Wilhelmsen, one of Norway’s best known shipping brands, is having a major change of focus, going all out for renewables.

“Our strategy is very clear, we will contribute to the energy infrastructure transition and be an active player in decarbonisation,” commented Thomas Wilhelmsen, group CEO at Wilhelmsen, in a release yesterday. “In addition to accelerating the transition of our existing businesses, we will invest in new businesses with the long-term aim of shifting from mainly oil and gas related activities to mainly activities related to the renewable sector. We foresee up to $500m in new business investments related to the renewable segments over the next five years and expect to invest on our own, together with partners, and/or utilise the capital market.”

The new segment, which has been named New Energy, will be headed up by Jan Eyvin Wang, currently senior vice president for strategic investments.

The establishment on the New Energy segment is a continuation of several years of exploring renewable opportunities for the Scandinavian company. This includes the ongoing transformation of NorSea, the establishment of offshore wind activities through NorSea Wind, Edda Wind, and Elevon, autonomous shipping through Massterly, decarbonisation solutions through RaaLabs, Ivaldi, the partnership with thyssenkrupp, and the vessel concept Topeka, a hydrogen-powered ship design.

On why a segment-specific structure is necessary now, Wilhelmsen said: “In the next few decades, we will see a tremendous shift from oil and gas to renewable energy. The speed of change and investments needed, requires a dedicated focus to capitalise on the opportunities which will arise. We will obviously build on our existing competencies, in-depth knowledge of the maritime industry, and what differentiates us from many players in the market, while exploring new opportunities and new partnerships.”

Under the group reorganisation, Wilhemsen’s maritime services segment, to be headed by Bjørge Grimholt, currently president of Wilhelmsen Ships Service, is expected to explore organic and horizontal growth of marine products, ship agency, and shipmanagement over the next three to five years.

The final segment – strategic and financial investments – includes shareholdings in Wallenius Wilhelmsen, Treasure ASA/Hyundai Glovis, Qube and the group’s liquidity portfolio.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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