Wilhelmsen Plans to Invest $500 Million into Renewable Energy Sector

Wilhelmsen expanding renewable and decarbonization efforts

Published Mar 25, 2021 6:31 PM by The Maritime Executive

One of Norway’s oldest maritime companies, Wilhelmsen announced that is evolving the company’s focus and corporate strategy to pursue growth opportunities in maritime services, renewable energy, and decarbonization. The company expects to invest $500 million focusing on the renewable energy segments over the next five years.

“Our strategy is very clear, we will contribute to the energy infrastructure transition and be an active player in decarbonization,” says Thomas Wilhelmsen, group CEO at Wilhelmsen. “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.”

To support the transition into new segments, Wilhelmsen is launching a new business segment known as New Energy. The group will be responsible for overseeing all of the company’s investments in renewables. Wilhelmsen plans to invest on its own as well as with partners or with the capital markets.

Wilhelmsen had already started pursuing opportunities in the sector over the past few years. This includes the ongoing transformation of NorSea, the establishment of offshore wind activities through NorSea Wind, Edda Wind, and Elevon. In the decarbonization area Wilhelmsen is participating in autonomous shipping through Massterly, decarbonization solutions through RaaLabs, Ivaldi, the partnership with thyssenkrupp, and latest the vessel concept Topeka, which aims to be a pivotal point for commercial vessels running on hydrogen.

“In the next few decades, we will see a tremendous shift from oil and gas to renewable energy,” says Wilhelmsen. “The speed of change and investments needed, requires a dedicated focus to capitalize on the opportunities which will arise. We will 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. We want to establish a strong growth platform for solutions that will contribute to decarbonizing our industry.”

In February, news appeared trying the company’s Norwegian shipping company Awilco to the offshore segment with reports that they would be launching a new company for maintenance and service operations targeted at the offshore wind sector. Reports said that they were ordering a fleet of new construction and service operation vessels, with the first vessel due for delivery in 2023. They were also believed to have options for four additional SOVs to be built in China.

Wilhelmsen and Østensjø Rederi, the owners of Edda Wind recently said they would begin the process for an IPO of the offshore wind services firm. Edda Wind now has six commissioning service operation vessels (CSOVs) on order designed to build its position in the market.