One of Norway’s richest men is following the likes of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet in vowing to leave the bulk of his riches to philanthropic interests. Kjell Inge Røkke, the boss of Aker and the architect of much of the consolidation seen in the local OSV scene in the past 18 months, told local newspaper Aftenposten this week: “I will give back to the community the bulk of what I have earned.”
The 58-year old billionaire did not elaborate on how he intended to distribute his wealth but his decision to put pen to paper yesterday to build a new research vessel in cooperation with the World Wildlife Fund is the first part of Røkke’s charitable drive.
Shipbuilder Vard Holdings will design and build the research expedition vessel. The 182 m long vessel will be able to monitor and survey marine life in all the world’s oceans and will be the longest ever built by Vard. It will enter service in 2020.
Røkke is listed in a recent survey as Norway’s 10th richest citizen.