Norwegian oil and gas investor forms renewables group

A private equity investor is bundling 20 oil and gas firms in its portfolio into a new industrial group to help them expand into other parts of the energy sector, including renewables.

Moreld member Vryhof previously supplied the mooring system to the Kincardine floating offshore wind farm (above)
Moreld member Vryhof previously supplied the mooring system to the Kincardine floating offshore wind farm (above)

Norwegian investor HitecVision launched Moreld with 3,600 employees, combined 2019 revenue of NOK 8.8 billion (€875 million), and, it claims, “core competencies and experiences” transferrable to other sectors, including offshore wind.

Moreld’s 20 constituent companies will be able to draw on larger resources and strength to execute their plans, share knowledge with each other, and become more attractive partners for customers, suppliers, and lenders, HitecVision explained.

In the past 18 months, the investor had tried and failed to sell “even well-run and profitable suppliers” due to “uncertainty around oil and gas”, so was now focusing on helping them pivot to new business areas, HitecVision explained.

“Each of the companies will continue to operate under its existing name, but the size and financial robustness of the new group will put them in a better position to establish new business areas, jointly or individually,” HitecVision partner André Ølberg added.

The investment firm conceded that “the oil and gas sector is expected to remain the most important for the company for a long time”, but “in the longer term… less important”.

It added that offshore wind and offshore aquaculture — including fish farming — would be “among major global growth areas where these companies have unique core competencies and experience”.

HitecVision highlighted one member of Moreld, Vyrhof, which is already involved in mooring solutions and project management for floating offshore wind.

Newly appointed Moreld chief financial officer Endre Folge suggested strengths of working in a group include size, technological know-how, and health and safety practices offshore.

“Growth in the long-run will be about the transition to renewable energy resources, other sustainable use of the oceans, and making use of the companies’ broad core competencies towards other sectors,” he added.

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