Wilhelmsen and offshore specialist NorSea have together acquired an 18% stake in Norwegian deepsea mining company Loke Marine Minerals.
“As the energy transition continues to gather pace, we are actively looking at new projects and business areas, outside of the oil and gas industry, where NorSea’s unique port infrastructure and proven service and supply know-how can continue to be a key driver of success. The development of the seabed mineral industry in Norway is far from certain, but partnering with a frontrunner like Loke, which has such focus on developing new technologies and systems to safely and sustainably extract minerals from Norwegian waters puts us in an interesting position,” commented John Stangeland, group CEO of NorSea.
Rich with in-demand metals, such as copper, zinc, cobalt, scandium, and additional rare earth elements, the minerals on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) alone are estimated, by an independent study conducted by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, to be worth a total of $100bn.
Commenting on the deal, Jan Eyvin Wang, executive vice president of Wilhelmsen’s New Energy segment, said, “We are focused on supporting the energy transition in the right way with the right partners throughout the ocean space. Bringing our global footprint and expertise into play in a new potential marine market, Loke Marine Minerals will now be able to benefit from our core maritime competencies, long-standing relationships, digital capabilities, and experience developing offshore wind and hydrogen services and decarbonised solutions.”
The trio of veteran oil and gas industry experts behind Loke Marine Minerals recognised the opportunities offered by seabed minerals early on. They established the company in 2019 with the ambition to create an international leading marine minerals company.
Alongside NorSea and Wilhelmsen, TechnipFMC is also a co-investor in Loke, with an ownership of 18%.