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Aker ASA Consolidates Offshore Units, Spins Off Clean-Energy Divisions

kvaerner yard offshore
Image courtesy Kvaerner

By The Maritime Executive 07-17-2020 07:25:57

Norwegian offshore services contractor Aker Solutions is launching a major restructuring effort. The firm plans to spin off its offshore wind and carbon-capture divisions as separate firms, then absorb the offshore EPC contractor Kvaerner, a sister company controlled by Aker's owner.

"Aker Solutions has developed technology and taken strong positions in markets for offshore wind and carbon capture, utilization and storage," says Øyvind Eriksen, chairman of Aker Solutions. "However, it has become increasingly clear that these businesses . . . have more potential as stand-alone companies than as an integrated part of an oil service business. Renewables and green technologies have entirely different value chains, customers, investor bases and sources of funding."

Aker Solutions will retain an alliance with the spin-offs and will be their preferred supplier for project work. 

Re-merger with Kvaerner

Aker Solutions is also planning to re-merge with Kvaerner, which provides EPC capabilities to the offshore oil and gas market. The two units were first joined together as Aker Kværner in 2004, renamed Aker Solutions in 2008, then separated into Aker Solutions and Kvaerner through a de-merger in 2011. They will now join together again under the name of Aker Solutions. 

"The combined company will be a dedicated execution partner for delivery of complete projects for new energy production facilities, for example oil and gas production platforms or subsea systems, or offshore wind power installations," says Kjetel Digre, the former SVP of operations at Aker BP and the newly-appointed CEO of Aker Solutions.

At the start of this year, Aker Solutions had about 16,000 employees and Kvaerner had about 2,800 (18,800 in total). Both are already shedding positions in a down market, and the combined company will have about 15,000 employees, including about 8,000 employees in Norway. 

Norwegian businessman Kjell Inge Røkke owns 68 percent of Aker, which in turn owns 70 percent of Aker Kvaerner Holding, which owns 41 percent of Kvaerner and 63 percent of Aker Solutions.